February 3rd, 2010
11:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama rips politically motivated GOP 'obstruction'


President Obama answered questions from Senate Democrats Wednesday. (Getty Images.)

Washington (CNN) - President Obama tore into the Republican opposition on Capitol Hill Wednesday, blaming the GOP for what he called politically motivated opposition on virtually every issue.

Democrats have been willing to incorporate Republican ideas on health care and other issues, he said, but Republicans have not been willing to do the same.

Addressing a gathering of Senate Democrats, Obama promised to "call (Republicans) out when (Democrats) extend a hand and get a fist in return."

Several Democrats facing tough election fights this November were given time to ask the president questions on high-profile issues such as trade and deficit reduction. Much of the president's time, however, was used to lash out at GOP tactics.

Senate Republicans, he said, have tried to employ the filibuster more over the past year than in all of the 1950s and 1960s combined. The GOP's strategy has been "20 years of obstruction packed into one," he said.

"If you want to govern, you can't just say no," he argued. "It can't be about just scoring points." The filibuster, he added, only works as intended if there is a "genuine spirit of compromise."

Updated:  1:07 p.m.

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Filed under: Democrats • GOP • Popular Posts • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (241 Responses)
  1. RJ

    It has become all too clear the Republicans mark success for the country based on party initiatives, not by what's good for the country ! The Republican Senate has indicated a williingness to often for class warfare, they almost never support anything for the middle class !!!

    February 3, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. Wisconsonite

    This is something that you Rabid Righters need to really get through your thick skulls! You ALL, with your continuing irrational hatred of all and anything the President or Democrats try to do, are being used as pawns in the Republicans political game of chess. Their plan is really very simple. The more the forward progress of our country is stalled, the angrier the masses become. The angrier the masses become, the more they (the Republicans) try to funnel that anger into hatred of the Democrats. You are all helping the Republican party achieve their one and only goal . . . .to once again become a viable political party. The problem is, they are not accomplishing this by doing ANYTHING to help those of you who are so angry. They are accomplishing it by simply STOKING your anger. Stop allowing them to use you!

    February 3, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Like a bunch of bratty kids, if the GOP can't have its way, it'll OBSTRUCT til they're blue in the face.


    February 3, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. JLM

    The GOP has no plans to work with this President,but to throw a wrench in everything he tries to accomplish.

    February 3, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Tracy

    Sorry Mr. President, but... DUH. You propose extreme measures, you get extreme resistance.

    February 3, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. Ken

    I have seen Obama's policies, which have been tried in past failed countries in this world, and cheer on anyone in Government, Republican or Democrat, and the growing mass of voters among the population who will "obstruct" the destruction of this great nation.

    February 3, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Hugo

    One day very soon, Obama and his band of merry spenders will realize the only thing that saves our Nation from total economic collapse is the fiscally conservative people of both parties that said NO MORE spending money we do not have. 2010 and 2012 are coming soon but not soon enough! These guys are so far out of touch, logic, let's give a tax cut to small business to hire people... Why would they hire people if government has killed commerce and there is nothing for the people they hire to work on? This is FREE enterprise NOT a government job where you can sit at your desk like Dutch and blog all day...
    News flash entitlement crew, your days of a free ride are quickly coming to an end.

    February 3, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. NVa Native

    Yes, excellent response from the President to address the lies and deceptions of the right wing agenda.
    We need more people, and not just politicians, to stand up. We need the corporate media to stop pandering the right wing agenda and do their job to stop the lies and deceptions. You have nothing to be fearful of, it's been proven these radical neo-cons are whiney little girlie men. Stop the mis-direction of the "word smiths" which is another way to lie and present it as "just politics". Frank Lang and scum like him make a lot of money devising ways to help slimey politicians and lobbyists lie right to our face.
    It's wrong and the American public deserves better.

    February 3, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Mike in SA

    Wow! Republicans have employed the virtually unobtainable and unsustainable filibuster more than ever before, somehow counteracting the 60 Senators that caucus and vote with the Democrats all by themselves!

    This just in from the Obama administration...2 + 2 = 7!

    February 3, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. texasgreenacres

    All one can say is it seems that it's a case if the shoe fits wear it. It looks like he's on to something you Go!
    Mr. president!

    February 3, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. RR

    Does the man not realize "obstructive" republicans were voted in by the people? Has he forgotten how our government was founded? The "obstructive" GOPers are voting on behalf of their consituents who placed them in their critical public service jobs. When he sees "the fist" in return, he would do well to recognize it is "the fist" of the U.S. people and not the congressmen and women in the room. Get a clue Obama! Many Americans have values that clash with your own and we've voted voices into office so that ours is heard. Listen for once.

    February 3, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Justin

    Good to see he's calling them out.

    February 3, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Marlee Stone

    My, my! Imagine a president who gets sass from the loyal opposition!

    February 3, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Mike in MN

    What a joke, up until the Brown election the Republicans did not have enough votes to support a filibuster unless some Democrats joined them in bipartisian oppositon. And the voters in Mass. voted for Brown to kill the current version of health care reform. That was Browns top campaign message, he promised to be the 41st vote to kill the current health care reform so congress would have to start over. Obama and the Democrats can't handle that so they try to spin that the Brown victory was really a message that Republicans should work more with the Democrats. That would be the strangest way anyone could possibly think of for voters to punish Republicans for being obstructionist, send someone who promised to be the needed 41st vote to obstruct health care reform. The spin is beyond bizzare and in insult to the intelegence of the American people.

    February 3, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. russell

    And the truth hurts, if their not willing to help with America's agenda , then maybe they should lose their right to be in Washington....

    February 3, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |

    WE Stand Behind Our President!

    The UNITED State of FREE THINKERS will Conquor the Religious Right (which is really NEITHER of the two)

    WE are THROUGH with the WAR/HATE-Mongering Rethuglicans and Tea Baggers!

    WE, who think for ourselves, won't fall for the FEAR TACTICS of the RE-THUG-LICANS.

    Oh no, we're going to get attacked again!! Why YES WE WILL Because of the HATEFILLED SPEACH OF THE REPUBLICANS.

    February 3, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Jerry in NC

    President Obama is just stating THE TRUTH! Nothing but obstruction has come from the republican party, since he was elected. Fact: those republican politicians are suppose to be representing ALL of the people from their respective districts....not just the ones who can't get over the fact that a black man has been elected President! Someone needs to remind them of that!

    February 3, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Objective Thinking

    Please elaborate what GOP ideas are in the proposed bills, compared to what Democrat ideas are in the proposed bills?

    The Democrats need to realize that their victories in 2008 was because people were sick of how Republicans were not living up to fiscal conservatism. It wasn't because America didn't want fiscal conservatism.

    February 3, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  19. Prevaricator

    Way past due! Keep it up!

    February 3, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  20. ugogrl

    the party of no i say need to be voted out in the elections for 2010!

    February 3, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  21. hello!

    Can anyone explain how one group can be obstructionists when their votes IN TOTAL did NOT matter and were NOT needed for OVER A YEAR????????

    Palin 2012

    February 3, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  22. SIMP

    He should call them out. They claim to be shut out of everything the house and congress was doing which was a lie now is the time for the President to let the american people know the the GOP is not willing to work with the Presidents party. What gets me is this party of no has the nerve to claim non of their ideas have been looked at, what a bunch of LIARS!!!. I think the President did these liars a favor over the last years and not call them out, but enough is enough, the President will never get anything done if he keeps his mouth closed about why nothing is being passed, it's because these liars don't want to agree with anything that the President is behind plain and simple.

    February 3, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  23. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Come out punching, Obama! The Republicans are using every effort to paralyze this government and they realize they don't have public opinion behind them...only the ability to fillibuster each and every piece of legislation or appointee that Rush Limbaugh hasn't approved.

    The Republicans tried to tie up the Clinton Administration by cutting off Congressional funding and "shutting down the government" until their demands were met back in '96. Clinton deminstrated to the American people that the Republicans – not his administration – were responsible for the hold up in SS checks and the like. The result? Clinton was re-elected in '96 in a landslide!

    February 3, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Jerry

    After the 2010 election I would imagine there will be enough votes to impeach Obama, to bad he does'nt realize that Americais not on board because his ideas stink.

    February 3, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  25. Ferret out the BS

    As the saying goes "If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem." It's unfortunate the Republican Party has taken a position of obstructionism because it isn't in the best interests of all Americans. They are now seen as doing more to destroy America now than help it and its citizens. They are now seen as being only aligned with corporate interests and not viewed a championing the rights, growth, and safety of the middle class. They are now seen as liars, corrupt, and self centered. The move for change must continue but can only do so if the Republicans either change their ideolocical position of obstruction or are voted out of congress!!!

    February 3, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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