April 26th, 2009
11:55 AM ET
11 years ago

Bipartisanship isn't dead, says Jarrett

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told CNN Sunday that President Obama still wants to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way on major policy initiatives like health care reform.

"He has reached out more aggressively I think to the Republican Party than I could ever imagine a president could possibly do," she told John King on State of the Union. "So I think the burden is on him to reach out his hand, and that's what he's done, and that's what he's going to continue to do throughout this administration."

After failing to secure Republican support for most of his economic plan, the president called on the Senate last week to use a parliamentary procedure that would allow legislation - including massive efforts like a health care overhaul - to pass without any GOP votes.

Filed under: State of the Union • Valerie Jarrett
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Dave

    Obama extended an olive branch to the GOP.
    They turned around and stuck in his back.
    There is no bipartisanship because thats exactly the way the Republicans want it.
    Why is the GOP so hateful?

    April 26, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  2. Allen from Hartwell GA

    Bipartisanship might not be dead, but it definitely is not in any current Republican leader's' vocabulary. They will not be satisfied until they win back the Congress and White House, then they might rediscover the missing ingredient of governing from an elected body. I hope that doesn't happen real soon.

    April 26, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  3. P. Y.

    @ Walter

    Good piece ! Everytime they say " no " the American people say " yes " to obama. I guess that they have to get into 2009 politics first and that is their problem They like to stay in the 60's, 70's, etc.

    April 26, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    President Obama does keep offering, but after the concessions he made to House repubs and still not one voted for the stimulus plan, he should heed the words of the RNC chairman Michael Steele, who stated "bi-partisanship is overrated"!

    Not only is it dead in the Party of NO but rigor mortis has begun.

    April 26, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  5. katiec

    The republicans have no interest in or will support bipartisanship.
    They have totally lost their way as leaders of our country, putting
    their party, winning at any cost over what they were elected to do.
    They have become a dangerous political party, inciting hate, anger,
    unrest, division within our country, fueling extremists, those blindly
    following their hypocritical actions.
    I have never before seen such irresponsible actions by a political
    party and hope they will come to their senses before it is too late.

    April 26, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. cheryl

    The President not only extended the branch, but whole **** olive tree to the republicans. It is time for these over-sized spoild brats to start acting like "Adults"! Everytime they show their pettiness;that is one more nail in the coffin for that party. The moderats of that party need to stand up, call out those whinny babies for who they are. Quit trailing behind those old out-dated fools;standup and take your party back.

    April 26, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Solomon

    The path for the GOP to return to prominence is to pursue the mantle of the “law & order” party again. This time the law breakers are the government officials from 8 years of the Bush Administration; particularly those involved in perverting the law to manufacture legal cover for torture of terror suspects. They’ve fostered an environment people in power think they can manipulate their way around the law. This is unhealthy for America.

    Americans value our moral superiority in the world. We are proud of it and won’t sacrafice it. GOP, you are going to have to lay some sacrifices on the alter. Stand up and say, “We are the party of Law & Order that the “little guy” can count on to uphold American values and do the right thing”. Then join with AG Eric Holder, Esq and prosecute folks like Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield etc.

    Our President Obama will ultimately be gracious enough to pardon/ commute enough people to protect an atmosphere of “bi-partisanship”. He will cushion the blow to enough GOP CONVICTS to keep the country working together. They will be guilty, they will serve some time and America’s moral integrity will be restored.

    In the wake of this, the GOP will again STAND FOR SOMETHING noble It can build from there.

    April 26, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Bi-partisanship isn't gone.....Refiblicans are.....

    The Refiblican "spin" on all issues will no longer "fool" the younger generation (before baby boomers). The GOP is stuck like a "broken record". Everyone understands their ultimate goal is the bankruptcy of the Federal Government so they can implement the complete privitization of America within a "serf" system of corruption among the rich. They're (the GOP) toast....

    April 26, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. ib

    Yeah; work with me Obama says as long as you do what I say and pass what I say without any objections. The republicans are not a party of "no" they are a party of "common sense" something the liberals and Obama know nothing about.

    April 26, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. obamamama

    Bipartisanship isn't dead, it's just not wanted by Repugs!! They're acting like a bunch of bratty kids, still pouting because their guy lost. Snap out of it!

    April 26, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. Lori

    Forget bipartisanship. The GOP is bent on seeing our President fail. I have never seen more hatred for a President by conservatives than I have now. Bush created unprecedented deficits and for 8 YEARS no Republican objected. In fact, they vehemently defended Bush policies and it was Bush that put through the first TARP and NOT ONE REPUBLICAN WAS PROTESTING IN THE STREETS. Democrats should not cooperate with Republicans who are bent on seeing our President fail. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

    April 26, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. German,Irish American

    The hate-filled Obama is bi-partisan? Another hoax of the media. Name ONE bi-partisan thing the Great Black Joke has done. The 800 billion stimulus/pork bill shoved through Congress that NOT ONE MEMBER OF CONGRESS OR OBAMA READ? The hate-filled and arrogant speech he gave at the taxpayer retreat for Democrats. Obama does not want bi-partisanship, he can only stay in power by fueling hatred and class envy in this country, which is what he does on a daily basis. Don't believe me, just read the hate towards republicans by the Obama supporters on this site.

    April 26, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  13. Sniffit

    more lies from the real party of No – The Democrats

    April 26, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The GOP will continue to do what they do best, continue GWB policies which they voted yes to everything. You have to give GWB credit for staying silent knowing he is not good for the GOP but unfortunately they aren't smart enough to see past the end of their noses.

    April 26, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    Here comes the spin doctors...

    Of course the Obama administration wants bipartisan support, but only on their terms (They are the party in power after all).

    Only in partisan news could support of parliamentary procedure even be mentioned in the same article as support for bipartisanship...

    Bipartisanship my &$%...

    April 26, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. today

    President Obama has one of the highest rating of any president that we have had in our history, America loves our president, i think the republicans must be unamerican, they need to just go away.

    April 26, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Mia and Mike

    President Obama graciously extended an open hand to the GOP in an effort to unify Congress and get our country back on the right track. Unfortunately, the Republicans decided to firmly posture themselves and take a rock solid position to block any and everything the Obama administration has decided to implement. This is a terrible tantrum they are having, and they are unfortunately further alienating their base members from their fellow Americans. I don't get what their goal is. It seems they are unhappy with any and everything unless it's EXACTLY what they want. They have not tried to compromise one time with the President-every day there is someone from their party criticizing the President and making terrible accusations against him. I don't blame him if he no longer wants to seek their support. They've become downright nasty and unruly.

    April 26, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. Willie

    Every time the Republican party does not actively and productively take part in this nation's politics, it becomes more irrelevant on a whole.

    I agree with the President's proposed path: If the entire Republican party does not wish to partake in this nation's political system, then bypass them to save the time, effort, and money they will waste in casting their "no" votes.

    April 26, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. big papa

    Practicality must be the watch word here...

    ...If Republican'ts want to regain POWER...

    ...they cannot do so by making President Obama MORE popular...

    ...by the same token...

    ...they make themselves LESS popular by appearing to undermine the President (and country) at every turn...

    ...This Catch 22 situation the Republican'ts find themselves in is a conundrum of their own making...

    ...Party-before-country gamesmanship almost certainly leads to political extinction, because the THINKING people understand when their best interests are being considered more importantly than political gain for any one party (or individual, or class)...

    ...the Democrats must have realized this when they enraged their base by at times voting WITH GW Bush...

    ...on issues that were perceived as in the best interest of the country...

    ...the Republican'ts have allowed their racist, ignorant, self-centered, intellectually-challenged wing of the their base dictate their downfall...

    April 26, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Ben (Eugene, OR)

    Only on this site would people support parliamentary procedure, then site Obama reaching out to the other side of the isle...

    Do you really think that Obama, Pelosi, or Reed really want bipartisanship?? Why should they?? They hold all the cards!!

    None of them support bipartisanship because that would require concessions.

    We have officially returned to the 1 party politics of the Bush years. This time it's just the other party. I hope this doesn't destroy our country like Bush's years did, but I have a strong feeling it's going to...

    April 26, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Ken in NC

    President Obama should continue to extend an open hand in the spirit of bipartinship. Everytime the Republican Party slaps it back they are ineffect stabbing themselves in the back. The Republican party is not willing to be flexiable under any circumstances unless they have it their way and they fail to realize that everytime they slap back the hand of the President one or two "Fence Clinging Voters" is knocked off the fence into the Democratic Camp.

    Democrats know this and that is why they do, and will continue to offer an open hand to Republicans.

    April 26, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Flipper

    Bipartisanship isn't dead? Is she kidding? Does she think Americans are so stupid that they're going to believe this tripe? The Dems only got 3 GOP votes on the $787 billion sham of a stimulus, only slighty more on the $400+ billion spending bill that was loaded with pork, and they have recently talked about ignoring GOP input on creating a bloated healthcare bill that will destroy the country's healthcare system and financially doom future generations with even more debt.

    Obama is going to bring the two parties together? Bwahahahahahaha!

    April 26, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  23. katiec

    Surely there are some decent, intelligent and patriotic republicans out there that are disturbed about what their leaders are doing to their party and our country??
    To sit back quietly and let the republican leaders continue to destroy all respect and creditibility is a heavy burden and you politicians who are not so radical need to speak up.
    It is time to put our country first.

    April 26, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  24. Ted

    Bipartisanship will only die because that is what the party of Rove, Cheney, Limbaugh, Steele, Boner, Chambliss, Sanford, Rumsfeld, Rice, Coulter, Bush, and all the rest of the hateful RepubThugs wants. They for whatever ignorant reason want Obama to fail. I cannot figure that out other than they know that GWB failed miserably. They do not want BHO to succeed. What is wrong with them? Can the all go to Texas and then secede and become part of Cuba? Maybe they should all be waterboarded?

    April 26, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Anna, Missouri

    As they say, it takes two to tango. The Republicans do not want to work to solve the problems, they just want to say "NO" Obama has given them a chance to come to the table with ideas, but they continue to be the "tax cuts for the rich" party. Interesting, that they now want to be known as the party of "tax cuts and torture."

    April 26, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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