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

Obama rips politically motivated GOP 'obstruction'

ALT TEXT

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. Mike in WA

    Like he wasn't politically motivated when he was accusing the military of air raiding villages and killing civilians by using drones to attack Al Qaeda which is a practice that he not only continues but increased.

    Only reason the Democrats are listening now is because they no longer hold a super majority and thus are forced to in order to get things done. George W. Bush was more bipartisan Then Obama has been.

    February 3, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Biased

    Once again we read about the Campaigner in Chief offering that outstretched hand to republicans about working together while getting soft pats how great he is from his own party. LOL!!! I don't know but is he deliberately trying to be more ridiculing than ever or has he decided he is now in campaign mode til November so he doesn't lose any more of his party members because they just don't listen to the people? The lesson from Mass. shows he sure didn't get it as far as I am concerned and if this tone appears every time he speaks from now on, one that is more combative against anything he doesn't propose, then he will lose many more independents. Seeing him on TV this week has been like watching one long negative TV attack ad.

    February 3, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Larry Waterson

    Wow..this is just amazing. How is it possible that the GOP is obstructing a President and an administration that controls both house and Senate with Super majority? Another attempt to blame someone else for his own failings as a leader. Pass the buck...pathetic.

    February 3, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Dave

    Newsflash, Mr. President, the US government is made up of checks and balances. The public votes people into the government to represent them. These representatives can then vote for or against a presidents agenda. Obstruction always happens between the two parties. Hopefully, one day, there can be a viable third party that backs our Constitution better than these current clowns.

    February 3, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    One lie that effects the poor which is lower utility bills I have never in my life heard of the electric companies lower there rates they only go up it's a trend that has been going on since the 1970's the electric companies had got so greedy ripping people off they had to get alternative pay stations to collect payments the utility fat dogs are never going to lower the electric bills the president is confusing the utility people with honest people .

    February 3, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. JP

    Nice Mr. President! You, Pelosi and Reid did not want to work with the Republicans before but now that they won in Mass. you are saying that they are the obstruction because they do not want to go with your socialist agenda. Cut the expenses now! you are puting us and the next generations in extreme jeopardy!

    February 3, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. j0hnnyb0y51

    Like the Chief Justice said: "Simply not True!" It is amazing how Obama constantly tells lies that are stupid. There has not been one single filibuster over the last year! The Republicans did not have enough votes to filibuster. What has opposed Obama's destructive ideas is opposition from his own party. The Democrats until Scott Brown did not need one single Republican vote to do anything. And they did not allow any Republican participation in their closed doors meetings. Like most of what Obama says, it simply isn't so.

    February 3, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Roger

    In his first year, the President has been remarkably restrained in his commentary regarding the Republicans, choosing to take the high road. I respect him greatly for that.

    However, the opposition party and their constituents have responded with pure obstructionism and shout-downs. Unfortunately, this mentality cannot be reasoned with. The President has a bully pulpit and I, for one, am very pleased to see him using it after all other reasonable means of mature discussion have failed.

    I would hope that the Republicans can come to the table with constructive, negiotiable ideas to move the nation forward, not stalling techniques designed to get them back in power in 2010 and 2012.

    February 3, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. Bobert

    I guess the President doesn't get it. Take the health care bill. Just because he extends a hand to Republicans, puts one or two ideas into an already crappy bill, doesn't mean they're dumb enough to vote for it. A bill with Republican ideas in it doesn't make it a bill Republicans would support, especially if it goes against their ideals. All it is is for show.

    Why doesn't he just say, "OK, I want to pass a health care bill. I want both sides to suggest ideas, and we'll meet in the middle." If he openly did that instead of promoting back door deals with Senators and the labor unions, he might actually get something decent passed. Otherwise, I support the Republicans for stopping things that are inheirently bad (even if the President throws a bone there way in the process).

    February 3, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. JB

    Talk, talk, talk – – – blame, blame, blame – –
    Every President in history has 'inherited" – –
    Just get on with stopping corruption, graft, & waste in gov't ! !
    Less and smaller gov't is going stop this ouot of control spending, not more and bigger ! ! !
    "Incumbent' now means "part of the problem" – get out now.

    February 3, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    When will you folks open your eyes and recognize that there is no difference in the two major parties. These two parties the Democrats and the Republicans have a monopoly on our government. I sure both sides will love bashing each other over these petty issues in order to distract you from their true self of representing a Plutocracy. But the truth is there is no difference if you vote Democrat or Republican Liberal or Conservative. We will get the same we have always received from big brother, the people who can attract the billions required to be elected are not getting that money from the people. Both of these parties are bought and paid for by the Special interest groups, PACs, Unions, Wall Street, banking, global Corporations are all contributing billions to re-election funds that undermine the people's representation
    I say in 2010 ask who is funding your representative? Look to see where the money is coming from? If the money comes from outside your district then who do you think they will represent if they are elected or re-elected? We need to bring these professional politicians back into line.
    Think if they are in office then put them out no matter what party they belong to, and if given a third party choice vote third party.

    February 3, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. John

    When the ideas and changes are SO BAD..... it is hard to get anyone to agree..... let alone the opposition party.....

    you can spin it however you want, Mr. Prez..... but your ideas aren't all that great, big guy....... in fact...... America doesn't want this type of government-run health care..... check ANY poll......

    look in the mirror and then tell me who needs to compromise.....

    you don't get it, do you.....

    February 3, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. swdassoc@msn.com

    Lets review O'GREAT ONE, your "party" had a majority in both House and Senate, spent 5 months and over $11 Million in advertising your Healthcare plan and campaigned/lobbied all over the east coast AND YOU STILL COULDN'T RAM IT DOWN OUR THROATS.

    Sounds like you need to talk with your people and get them to step in line. Oh wait your pundits were using that line last week in reference to the GOP

    You are just another "DC suit" without the character or the substance that the position requires

    February 3, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. sonny chapman

    ITEM: Repubs. Claim Obama Kissed Malia-indisputable proof that he hates Sasha !

    February 3, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Kathy

    On Healthcare the only thing the reTHUGlicans want is tort reform, that would decrease the cost of medicine 1%, they do NOT want to cover children or the elderly. Go look at their web site for what they want. It is outdated, as far as jobs are concerned they want unemployment benefits extended until December 2009. They are so stupid they do not know when they are outdated!! They fillabustered just like this when Dems took control in 2007 and that was for defense spending bills. So much for country first!!!

    February 3, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Brian from NJ

    Enough with this guy and his CONSTANT finger pointing! He had a 60 seat Senate majority and a super majority in the house and still could not get the job accomplished. It was HIS party, not the GOP, that failed... And the Democrats completely and totally shut the GOP out of the legislative process.

    Bush "inherited" a recession, too, after the Tech bubble burst. Not as bad as this one, but the NASDAQ was taking a beating... then he faced 911, which had a major impact on the markets, both domestically and internationally. This almost put the brakes on the recovery from the 2000 recession... But you did not see him constantly pointing fingers... and after 35 unanswered pleas to Congress to fix the GSEs, he had plenty of ammo he could have shot the Dems who blocked his attempts to fix the housing markets.

    Also, if the 2009 deficit is Bush's deficit, than the 2001 deficit was Clinton's... and contrary to the Democrats BS, we did NOT run surplusses in the 90's. They were still borrowing $$$ from SS in the form of government securities... so, no, Clinton did NOT leave a suprplus. Only in DC can they borrow money from themselves and then claim they have a surplus...

    February 3, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  17. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    Could it be time to kill the filibuster?YES

    February 3, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  18. Laurie

    He is right. Nothing will ever change as long as those dolts continue with the obstructionism. They care nothing for the American people. It needs to end. Democrats also need to start manning up and help the people who elected them to office. The Republicans surely know that nothing can improve in our country if they continue. So, in the end, what are they accomplishing??? Keeping the American people in the doldrums of financial despair, without affordable health care, without employment, and continuing to struggle. This is not about ideas or policies that they have. In the end, it is about reelection. I hope that the electorate will take a long, hard look at why their situation remains unchanged. It has noting to do with the current administration. It has to do with Republican obstructionists and mealy mouthed Democrats. Shame on them.

    February 3, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. stevegee

    Since day one of taking office, Obama and the liberals have been trying to dismantle our republic.

    The Republicans and the Conservative Movement (aka Tea Partiers) are the only things standing between a socialist nightmare.

    Thankfully, the American people have come out of their "change" coma and realize what a mistake Obama is.

    Freedom and liberty will prevail.

    February 3, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. mnord

    It is about time! The President is finally standing up for himself and his approach to politics. When he entered office he expressed a sincere desire to work with the Republicans, they, as evidenced by comments they have made, most notably "YOU LIE" have been unwilling to meet him halfway. Neither party is 100% correct in their solutions to our country's problems; but, as most of us learned in kindergarten, if we listen and work together a compromise can be reached. Perhaps we need to send our representatives back to kindergarten and elect new ones.

    February 3, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  21. Captain Awesome

    Has Obama realized that he doesn't need one Republican vote to get anything passed? Why doesn't he direct his finger wagging at his own party?

    February 3, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. Danny

    That's been the rebublican way for the last 20 years: My way or the Highway.

    February 3, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Let's rip them a new one, they deserve it because the GOP's only concern is election. They use obstruction instead of solutions all the way to the ballot box and hope Americans buy into them. It doesn't take a lot to figure out Repugs as they play the "old man's game".

    February 3, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. Jane/Seattle

    Both parties have members that have been obstructing. Write legislation that is good only for "The People" and stop letting lobbyists and global corporations have input! The healthcare bill is NOT Good! Rewrite it for the people. Republicans and some Democrats favor free market ideology over anything that would actually help the average citizen! Mistakes have been made? FIX Them!

    Why was Max Baucas in charge? He would not even let the Single Payer advocates into the discussions. Everyone knows that most Republicans will do anything to hurt Obama, hence America, to get back into power and finish us off! This is only part of the issue. many Democrats are equally beholdn to corporations. We require term limits, an "objective" Supreme Court (not politicized), NO Corporate interference, NO lobbyists setting policy, campaign finance reform and a very LOUD, NO MORE WAR! Republicans: Jump on this idea for fixing the Deficits that Bush et al created so well! Take legislators, federal employees, and others' perks away and see how fast they all fly the coop!

    February 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Orange Curtain, CA

    OBAMA: You should have placed Ben Nelson, Landrieu, Lincoln, and the other traitor Dem's in a headlock and knocked some sense into them.

    February 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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