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.

Full story

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

    I could have said it any better........Obama is calling it as it is........just because the GOP won Mass. they have this false hope that they are going to take over the country.......Think again.......remember Democrats took NY away from the GOP.......as the months go on and the country sees that the Republicans aren't going to work with this President NO MATTER WHAT.....the tide will turn against the GOP

    February 3, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Politics STINK!
    Having said that, if Republicans insist on playing by their obstructionist rules, I think Democrats ought to use whatever means available.
    It seems like Democrats try to play fair and Republicans play to "win" (by any means).
    AND, Republicans don't respect Democrats because they are "weak" and Democrats don't respect Republicans because they "don't play fair/nice."

    February 3, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Travis In Colorado

    Once again, Barack Obama, up until the last week or so, Republicans haven't been able to obstruct ANYTHING that Democrats have tried to put through Congress. Once again, Democrats had the MAJORITY to pass anything they wanted, and Republicans couldn't do anything about it. It's the DEMOCRATS that have been fighting and not agreeing with what you're trying to do, not Republicans. Why don't you get your facts straight before you speak, or at least check with the TELEPROMPTER before you do anything. Maybe if you spent a little bit more time doing your job instead of going on VACATION and CAMPAIGNING for your fellow DEMOCRATS (that sure is worth the time isn't it?) MAYBE you might know what's going on. But I DOUBT it.
    Hey America, how is that CHANGE and HOPE and JUDGEMENT working for you? How is that HEALTHCARE, UNEMPLOYMENT, JOBS, DEBT, AND EVERYTHING ELSE WORKING FOR YOU? Americans made a mistake when they voted to make HISTORY instead of the right decision.

    February 3, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. El Kababa

    Conservatives are – unpatriotically – opposing everything in an attempt to win the 2012 election, no matter how many Americans are hurt in the process. If unemployment goes up, it's Obama's fault. If unemployment goes down, Obama should have acted sooner or later or better – and Conservatives will take all three positions. They have gridlocked our government just so they can do better in the next election. If Americans suffer because of it, then Conservative leaders are willing to accept that.

    This is not legally treason.

    February 3, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. jane

    I'm glad to see the President making these remarks. I only wish Democrats would now act like Democrats and vote accordingly.

    February 3, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Robert J

    And he is correct! I listened to 'bonehead bohner" Sunday AM and all I heard was how he has an obligation to oppose anything that he feels republicans don't like. Really. Just where bonehead does our countries "needs" and common sense rationale fit into your moronic ideology? Get some gut, stand up for the country (which by the way includes others than rich republicans) or get out. I am 65 years old and I have never seen such blantant and contemptous obstuctionism in our government. The people as in "WE THE PEOPLE" voted your party out-PERIOD- So get on board with what the majority wants, not what you want or think, quit trying to sell your bill of goods, or GET OUT!

    February 3, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Rush

    Go get em' Barry.

    Also, ask them why they hate America.

    February 3, 2010 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Voice Crying In the Wilderness

    Great, President Obama! I just wish you had exposed their lies, half truths, obstructionist tactics a year ago.

    February 3, 2010 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Chanel

    Its true. Just look @ they're opposition to don't ask don't tell. On the campaign trail, McCain said he would consider getting rid of it when the military said they thought it should be done away with. Now, the military HAS said it should be done away with, and McCain and the other Republicans looked so mad I thought something was going to be hurled. Hmmm on the flip side, Dems should be called out when they shut Republicans out.

    February 3, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Stop the Nonsense

    It would be intereting to see the response from both parties to every bill proposed. Was there a reasonable alternative offered or was just the addition of earmarks added.
    Forget the White House doing full dosclosure- where is C-SPAN or some other organization?

    February 3, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Jacob

    I'm looking forward to the Tea Party becoming the third party to split the Tea Baggers and Republicans so we can move forward with a Democratic agenda! The agenda that is looking after America!

    February 3, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    Good for him! About time!! The Grand Obstructionist Party should concentrate more on what's best for their country and not just try to make Obama fail. Good for you Mr. President! Stay on offense! We ARE the MAJORITY Party and need to act like it!

    February 3, 2010 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  13. southerncousin

    I heard the creep that does not understand the anger in America used the word "i" something like 47 times in the speech. What a waistoid. He should just go sit in the corner for 3 more years until we can get rid of him. But he can't stop talking about himself, he has a real problem. He has turned out to be worse than I thought before the election. Did he mention that John Boehner was never even invited to meet with the White House staff during all of 2009. What an inept liar the libertards installed as our president. George Soros and SEIU/ACORN should be tried for treason.

    February 3, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  14. Red state gone blue voter

    The party of "no" needs to remember that the majority of us voted Obama in to do things differently than the disastrous policies of the past 8 years. If things don't work, you'll have your chance to put someone else in, but for now, shut up unless you have something productive to add.

    February 3, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  15. seebofubar

    Open your eyes Obama. The reason that Republicans are opposing you is because everyting that you try to ram down this country's throats is giong to destroy us. You have had a bulletproof majority in both the house and senate and you still haven't done anything constructive. Stop blaming everyone else for your lack of accomplishments, it's childish. You never accomplished anything here in Illinois and you are failing in Washiongton. Face it, your just not quite up to the job!

    February 3, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "Democrats have been willing to incorporate Republican ideas on health care..."

    Obama just doesn't get it. Most Republicans–and anyone with a trace of fiscal common sense–don't want things "incorporated" into government-run health care, they want the government to stay out of health care completely. It's not the exact details of how government meddles in health care that concern most Americans, it's that government is meddling at all.

    Obama just doesn't get it that what "the Party of No" is saying "no" to is the Democrats' efforts to bankrupt the country and ruin the health care system–and that's a truly fine pair of things to say "no" to.

    The American people have said "no" to government health care, and the efforts of the far-left to impose it on us anyway is tantamount to a philosophical–and fiscal–rape.

    February 3, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. Tommy

    Well, instead of extending a hand, maybe Obama SHOULD be extending his fists.

    This country NEEDS the debate to be public: republican policies (i.e. no government in citizen's lives; only corporate) vs. democratic policies (i.e. more government regulation, consumer protections).

    One other suggestion: leave CNN, Fox, and the other media outlets out of the debate. They are corporate interests and as a result should not be influencing the debate (something they do so well on regarding other issues). I suppose the Supreme Court thinks differently on this, however...

    The U.S. American justice system: The best justice money can buy.

    February 3, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Allison29

    Hitting the nails right on the head. Republicans have become worthless.....not the party Mom and Pop once supported. Shame.

    February 3, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Rob2 Pensacola

    It about time that the President started to play hardball. The Reps does not bite the tongue and neither should the Dems. It is time to point out the the Reps are obstructionists–plain and simple. They do not want this administration to succeed and are willing to allow America to fail to accomplish their agenda, It is a sad day when Repls will not support their own ideas simply because this Pres agree with them. The Reps need to know that the tactics are clear and will no longer work. Dems needs to get behind this administration and stop empowering the opposition. It does not help whenthe so call blue Dogs are aiding and abetting the opposition. Health care should have passed last year. I fault the dems in the senate, It is your fault the we are still focusing so much attention on this issue. STOP IT. Do What is Right for the American People.

    February 3, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Mitch

    Obama is one of the most intellectually dishonest politicians to come along in decades. He talks on both sides of his mouth ("Harry, I have a gift."). One day he invites harmony and bipartisanship, only to reverse course the next and blast all those who have the nerve to oppose him. He's a pathological narcissist who can't take criticism. What a huge disappointment....too bad we all will suffer his ineptitude and deceit. I never thought it possible, but I think Obama is making even Bush look good.

    February 3, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |

    Old Chicago-style politics are still a favorite game of Obama and co. He had huge majorities in the House and Sentae, and because he failed in completing any signififcant initatives, he blames...REPUBLICANS??? The vast majority of Americans reject this "beyond the pale" leftist agenda - including in Massachusetts, and so who is REALLY to blame for his failures?

    Look in the mirror Obama - America considers the rejection of horrible policies in Washington to be GOOD PERFORMANCE and not obstructionism! This will also be illustrated in November's results!

    February 3, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. Blaqmagic

    I can not stand it when grown people act like children, and that is what the republicons are doing. It is" play my way or ima go home". They make me sick.

    February 3, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  23. Lexie

    SLAMMER!!.......Obama has Republicans figured out......now for the rest of the country. How easily most people are fooled. We deserve to get nothing if we vote Republican.

    February 3, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Dick_NH

    Time to get rid of the filibuster!!!!!

    February 3, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. larry wi

    Ohhh is BoBo getting upset, can't have his way with the Republicans, his charm isn't working any more, waaaaaaaa. I'm surprised that he evne noticed the oposition, he seems oblibvious to everything else that goes on around him!

    February 3, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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