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. Scott, Tucson

    I do believe the Democrats did the same thing to President Bush when the Dem's won the majority in 2006 so what goes around comes around eh?

    Dem's may like to tax the hell out of us and spend it all on their fail social programs but a lot of American don't like it, and obama talks big about spending cuts but it's nothing but hot air considering that this guy just has to hop on his Air Force One every other day, obama save the taxpayer a few dollars and stay put in the WH for a couple of weeks and lead by example, something a true leader knows about but is surely lacking in this community organizer.

    February 3, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    Cur! real cute! You had 60 votes! The GOP had 40 and could not stop a thing! Yet instead of placing blame on Reid and Pelosi, where blame belongs, you blame the GOP! Not just that but your party slammed the door on the GOP during the secret handshake meetings, remember? Just speeches? Just words? Yep! What got in the way was not the GOP, rather it was arrogance and overbloated egos!

    February 3, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    Will he do the same to the Dems that don't agree with him? Will he jump on Pelosi when she strong arms the Republicans? Just wondering.

    February 3, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. RTB

    To Alan
    You are wrong. Check the facts.

    Time and again the republican input has been incorporated into the Democratic bills. The problem is that the republicans vote NO on the very issues they had incorporated into a democratic bill.

    Childish game playing has been a bed rock of the current republican agenda.

    February 3, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Reggie from LA

    "The People" aren't speaking out against Obama, just False News ( 'n' like friends) outlets and a handful of folks willing to pay a former governor to speak to them unintelligently. Can someone please provide a list of accomplishments of the GOP over the last 9 years? No? Why is that? Obama just got here and has done more for the country. I'm still waiting for how the right, in God's holy name, has advanced our nation.

    February 3, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Yolanda/New York

    It amazing how the Re_Thugs are now concerned about spending. Where were they when the Re-Thugs were in charged and put the economy in the toilet? I thought elephants are suppose to have long memory, but it only applies in selective circumstances. Stop the hypocrisy. PRESIDENT OBAMA (not Barry) is trying to undo 8 yearts of failed RETHUGLICAN policies. Put the blames where they belong. YES! Mr. President it's about time you got tough.

    February 3, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    Thank you, Mr. President for telling it exactly like it is. The recent foolish Supreme Court decision will result in a name change for this country, to The Corporate States of America.

    February 3, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. daniel

    When Republicans push ideas then savage those same ideas when the president gets on board, as recently happened with the deficit reduction commission for starters, you are talking about a party engaging in rank partisanship: "I was for it, until HE was for it, then my own idea stank." Reminds me of Cleavon Little taking himself hostage in "Blazing Saddles." Why the country wants to reward THAT sort of thing I cannot imagine.

    February 3, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. D.U.T.C.H.

    Call them out Mr. President. You may have been speaking to Iran when you made this statement in your inaugural address, but I think it applies more to the republican party.

    "We will extend a hand if you are unwiling to unclinch your fist." 44th POTUS 1/20/09

    February 3, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Mike in MN

    Obama is totally wrong that only Republicans oppose him on virtually every issue.
    Voters are opposed to virtually every issue on Obama's agenda. The polls prove it. Republcans happen to agree.
    In fact there is bipartisian oppostion in congress on health care reform and cap and trade with 38 to 40 House members voting against both these bills. It took bribes in the Senate to get to 60 Democrat votes on health care and many Democrats Senators have been calling on Obama to drop cap and trade.
    Voters in Mass sent Brown to Washington to be the 41st vote to stop the current health care reform and to start over and listen to what the people really want.
    Obama and the Democrats are left naked because only Democrats have voted for a number of major bills that voters do not like and do not want. The public will not hold it against the Republicans for not supporting bills they do not like.

    February 3, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    The mouth moves and words come out but yet actions dont correspond with the words .

    February 3, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Albert R., L.A., CA

    Republican leadership, global corporate loyalist minority that they are, just might maintain their filibuster power in the November elections because Republican Supreme Court justices just held that global corporations can impact our elections and lawmaking with unlimited corporate bribes (“Corporate speaking” as they call it) from global corporations. That means Republicans will have unlimited global corporate cash to run adds exploiting the emotions of the Republican base with their usual campaign of fear and flag. They will scare the base chanting “terror, terror” and “liberal socialist,” and comfort them saying, “I am a hockey mom,” “I own a truck.” “I am a plumber,” and “I love the flag.” Obama and the Democrats have no chance to swing the swing voters with a dull promise of restoring law and order in our financial institutions and corporations, fair health care for all, ending oil dependency and creating millions of jobs with the green revolution. Democrats must use fear and flag chanting “Save our flag from the corrupt global corporate loyalist and operatives who act under color of authority within our government” as they hold up a "list of fifty names of Republican global corporate sympathizers holding positions of high power within our government”

    February 3, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Glenn

    Yes, we are the party of "No". No to socialism; no to government cronyism (just take a good hard look at Illinois); no to Liberals trying to shove health care down our throats.

    February 3, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Yolanda/New York

    It's amazing how the Re_Thugs are now concerned about spending. Where were they when the Re-Thugs were in charged and put the economy in the toilet? I thought elephants are suppose to have long memory, but it only applies in selective circumstances. Stop the hypocrisy. PRESIDENT OBAMA (not Barry) is trying to undo 8 yearts of failed RETHUGLICAN policies. Put the blames where they belong. YES! Mr. President it's about time you got tough. It's obvious Alan that you only follow FOX news and get a onesided, blindsided, don't habve to use too many brqain cells view.

    February 3, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Because the republicans must get everything they want on every issue, or they take their ball and go home. We tried it their way and they screwed up big time. And they just want to practice more of the same. Please. We had unprecedented low taxes for the best part of 30 years and all of our jobs went bye bye and our infrastructure crumbled. We deregulated the banks and nearly trashed the world economy. We busted the unions and let companies ship jobs overseas and real income stagnated as inflation and corporate profit went through the roof and the middle class disappeared. Epic fail, republicans. And the funniest part is that Americans are so stupid, that they believe the republicans when they blame others and tout these very failed policies as the cure. Let the grownups clean up the problems you created, morons. Your policies belong in the trash bin of history. Have a nice day!

    February 3, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Operation Crush Rush

    Lets end the filibuster along with Rush,the mushmouth,Limbaugh.His numbers are dropping and his sponsors are taking the heat.hahaha

    February 3, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Tell The Truth

    The nerve. The Democrats are the real Party of NO. They keep saying NO to the American people. The American people overwhelmingly do not want the Democrat health plan or the rest of the liberal aganda, yet in their arrogance they keep telling us they know what is best. The Republicans are not saying NO–the people are. And oh by the way, sometimes NO is the appropriate answer.

    February 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Vote for GOP based on their ideas, which are.......?????

    I guess everyone on here keeps forgetting how branches of govt work. Last time I checked Congress was the legislative branch, and from what I see you all keep saying "Obama's laws, Obama's bill, Obama's plan".

    But I expect that from most people on here who can't name the three branches of government and the role.

    Keep pointing out the American people are this and that, these are the same American people who voted Bush in the WH, TWICE!!!!

    Americans are attracted to bright shiny objects, and that's why Obama and Brown won elections, because we love fame.

    Imbeciles, all of you.

    February 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. PL

    I feel sad that perz Obama is going the wrong path against the will of at least over 40% of the people; number may be growing.

    The selection of his staff was perplexing in the first place. He has group of ultra progressive as Anita Dunn, Van Jones .... to advocate transformational changes to our system, and then R Emmanuel, Axelrod etc the Washington old guards who are Washington insiders.

    Seems like he has been ill advised, or he did not listen?

    He ripped the insurance companies, and he made back room deals with them.

    I hope he would find better ways to lead. This finger pointing business is embarrassing.

    February 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Do you right wingnuts who watch the lies on Fox think you are getting the truth? You are even dumber than the birthers.

    February 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Obama/Biden

    Washington is divided by partisan politics including a racial politic. President Obama agenda cannot clear republican congress just because the president defeated John McCain that is why McCain as a pay back oppose everything the president propose. They do not want barack to succeed. It is like the 60's all over again. Some people do not the president and his agendas just because the president is African American and this factor will cause the president to serve only on term. It is not because he is doing bad, Washington racism and partisan is the fact. We already starting to see that example Massachussetts senate eletion.

    February 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Realist

    Way to go Mr. President!!! Get tough and call them out.

    February 3, 2010 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  23. Hugo

    Too awful funny, the way I saw this was Obama threw down the glove and the Republicans picked it up and stuffed it down his throat, they rebutted every one of his talking points. Where have all you idiots been, the Dems have had a super majority, the Republicans fillibustered ZERO. The Republicans ideas are based on fiscally responsible market driven ideas have repeatedly been ignored or even adopted in the House. Obama keeps lamenting of breaking off from special interest control in government but remains to ignore the harm that failing to rein in the lawyers and their friviolous lawsuits does to our society, all the while taking their donations and contributions. Yes, the trial lawyer lobbyist group is the largest donator to the DNC, and it is hands off our cash cow! What a crock of BS from a crooked double talk action Jackson President!

    February 3, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. JonDie

    The GOP should be called the NO-P.

    February 3, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. hal

    I'm sick and tired of him complaining about how things are going slowly due to the Republicans. He has the majority and he should be able to pass anything and everything- but he can't because he is having problems with his party, too.

    February 3, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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