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. a health economist

    The only thing on the table for the Rebpulicans is tort reform. While this is needed, it is nowhere near a cure all that the Republicans have labeled it.

    I don't recall which Republican said it, but earlier this week it was stated that the Republicans would not compromise and would stick to their principals. How exactly is that putting "America First", which was a big sound bite they used in 2008? They want back in power, plain and simple.

    The Democrats bill is far from perfect, but it is a good start. Things should be added and this should be removed. But any thinking we need to get this perfectly right the first go will be waiting a 100 years before it happens.

    February 3, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Mike in MN

    If Obama really wants the Republicans to be more involevd he needs to come down hard on Pelosi and Reid. A bipartisian bill is one where both Democrats and Republcians co-autohor a bill. In the House Pelsoi has been letting just Democrats writh the bills, Republicans are excluded. So Republicans have to write there own bills which Pelosi in turn will not allow a vote on or the Dems vote it down and pretend it never exsited. Until Pelosi and Reid allow major bills to be co-authored by both parties, Republicans will be shut out. If Obama wants this to change he needs to start with Pelosi and Reid.

    February 3, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Charlie in Maine

    It is about time too. They have dragged their feet on every issue. The last one they got right was slavery. Nothing from the last century or so far from this one

    February 3, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Sue

    I find it amazing.........That Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of the liberal Democrats think that the majority of citizens--including moderate Dems, Republicans, AND the majority of Independents--are as blind, clueless, and gullible as the Obamabots.

    This is even after the Democrats were clobbered in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

    In Massachusetts---1 in 4 Democrats voted for Scott Brown-–and the majority of Independents voted for him. Also, the majority of households with union workers also voted for Scott Brown.

    Based on recent national polls--–the majority of citizens did not believe any of the lies/spin during Obama's State of the Union--and they do not believe his lies/spin now.

    The majority in the country do NOT want Obama's agenda/policies--so they support the Republicans' efforts in trying to stop everything that Obama is trying to do.

    February 3, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Julie

    President Obama is absolutely correct; the republicans have down and out crossed the lines of integrity. What is so disturbing is the fact that they are putting their own party agenda before the good of the people us of the United States. These republicans are no different than Rush, who is their champion.

    Don't the republicans get it – the majority voted for Obama, voted for the changes that he ran on, this is what we wanted. It is undertanding that yes, many sore loser republicans are angry, but the key word is loser, they LOST the election. WE the democrats and other parties to include many republicans want this change.

    So, to all the republicans and TEA Party goers, we are on to you, you may be able to block what some of the President is trying to do, BUT WE WILL NEVER FORGET< FORGIVE< and you will not win another presidental election. WE ARE TIRED OF THE NONESENSE.


    February 3, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Please

    That's great, more divisive speeches – good going OBAMA

    You're even more inept than bush

    February 3, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Jim

    "This guy is speaking to the masses that do not follow the news. Anyone that is informed, knows that the Repubs have not been included in talks on health care, budgets, etc. Another Obama lie"

    Where were you all last summer??? Do you not remember the 5 committee conferences? The "gang of six" negotiations? Trying to get Olympia Snowe to support Healthcare reform?

    February 3, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Tom in FL

    Republicans are only responding to the irrational hatred of Obama being exhibited by a substantial percentage of the electorate. Since he's accomplished very little (and not, for the most part, because of Republican obstructionism), it's hard to understand the the reason for this level of fear and hatred. But Republicans certainly have not hesitated to take advantage of it for their own ends.

    February 3, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. JOE

    the president is right. anyone with any common sense and objectivity should be able to see clearly what the GOP is doing. take the stimulus bill. 35% of the bill was TAX CUTS for the middle class. not even one republican voted for it. but yet, the GOP likes to tout itself as the party of tax cuts. yeah right! the GOP uses every issue for politcal gain. be it abortion, taxes or national security. the GOP is clearly the party of NO.

    February 3, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    Why do the right wingnuts, who represent 20% of the population, think they are speaking for the majority? They are clueless as to what Americans want, as they get their lies from the network that does not fact check: Fox

    February 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. btannerski

    It is unquestionably true that the Republicans are being obstructionists, caring only about their own political futures as compared to the best interests of the United States.

    And they have the gall to call themselves Christians, Patriots and other such dribble.

    Our country has serious, terminal problems which require serious, colleagial attention. Anything less from either party is unacceptable!

    Those that refuse to talk and compromise must be voted out!!!

    February 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Carolyn Keller

    How many ways can you spell MAJORITY in the Senate and House? Anyone with more than a half a political brain knows It's more than Repubs stopping legislation. How many ways can you spell White House palaver ? God, I am sick to death of them all, but especially Obama! What a miserable failure in leadership.

    February 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Chris from NY

    I guess it took the Massachusettes loss to awaken this guy to what the Republicans planned for him When Rush Limbaugh said he wanted the President to fail he was speaking for the Republicans. Only he got the guts to say what the Republicans were saying behind closed doors. But we know action speaks louder than voice. The Republicans through their actions shows nothing less than a desire for the President to fail But that can only happne if God allowed it. Otherwise they would eat their words in the long run. It's not the beginning of a thing that matters but the end. For he that laughs last laughs the best.

    February 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Jim

    I say let the Republicans filibuster everything. The Republican version of compromise is our way or no way.

    Take out the crap that was added to appease ben Nelson, etc to the healthcare bill...a simple bill to explain to the American people (remember the bill had over 60% approval before the junk was added).
    Then let them explain why 30m Americans should be denied insurance coverage.

    Same thing with a jobs bill...let the GOP filibuster it. Then they can explain that to voters.

    February 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Ron

    Obama is upset,because he is not a leader,Just an organizer.
    The dems, need to be stopped on everything til after the 2010 elections, Then maybe reason will set back in.

    February 3, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. j

    I'm glad he's finally doing something... not that it will make a difference with the Republicans. Apparently obstructionism appeals to the ignorant. Our government is dysfunctional and voters seem to like it that way.

    February 3, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Please

    Republicans have the right to say NO for whatever reason they want – it's called a DEMOCRACY. In this case they are saying NO because the president's ideas are rediculously bad and most people in the country think so as well.

    By saying that the republicans should automatically go along with democrats to cooperate means that he is not only trying to manipulate the economy in this country but also the constitution.

    February 3, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Parker


    February 3, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. SocialismBad

    I guess in the very short time Obama was in the Senate, he didn't bother to learn the rules and procedures! This buffoon is such a whiner. He thinks that because he says something, that others need to jump through the hoops and get in line with him. Now he expects this from the same people he and the Democrats have excluded from meetings and ignored during the whole process.

    And have you seen the INSANE BUDGET this dolt is proposing??!! I certainly HOPE that the Republicans are going to "obstruct" it!! I expect ALL to obstruct and stop the country from committing financial SUICIDE with this type of spending and taxing.

    February 3, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  20. The Government Lies to You

    I'd like a democrat, any democrat, to explain how the GOP have been obstructionists when the democrats had a filibuster proof super majority for a year. Give a real answer, don't just start bashing the GOP and calling them Tea baggers and the party of no, or whatever your stupid little slogans are, explain how the GOP can be accused of obstructionism when they had 0 (zero) power for the entire last year. All the democrats had to do is say "we're going to do this" and they could have gotten it done. How can you blame the GOP when your own party couldn't even get all of their ducks in a row?

    You people need to smell what you've been shoveling.

    February 3, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. robrubin

    All of you people trashing Obama – have you all gotten a sudden case of amnesia? Have you all forgotten that it was the REPUBLICANS who pushed through 2 unpaid for tax cuts...a huge unpaid for drug program....and a useless war in Iraq that was again...unpaid for.

    Not to mention that it was BUSH who initiated the bailouts of the banks because of the REPUBLICANS deregulation of the banks so they could do whatever they pleased.

    And after ALL of that, the REPUBLICANS only idea is to continue old broken concepts like across the board tax cuts. Well, across the board tax cuts are what caused the huge spike in deficits in the first place.

    And, they are back to their old tricks in trying to privatize social security. How many seniors would be living in cardboard boxes right now if social security were in the stock market???? The Republicans don't want government to interfere with your healthcare but they have no problem having some greedy investment banker gamble your hard earned retirement savings.

    So now just because a Democrat is in office, suddenly everyone is crying fiscal conservatism and claiming that Democrats are going to bankrupt the country. Yet the last Democratic president had a BUDGET SURPLUS that Bush quickly wiped away.


    February 3, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. MT

    O'bama didn't need the support of the GOP to pass anything! HE DID NEED HIS "boys" to support him...... AND THEY DIDN'T

    GOP Obstructed what exactly?

    Here is basketball metaphore for your BAMA... your "team" owned the ball, the court and the refs and still couldn't manage to get it done.

    February 3, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. Jim

    "Obama is an obstructionist to the constitution!"

    Typical right wing blather...if you want to make a comment like this, please provide examples.

    February 3, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    The GOP has no interest in saving the country. They pull all their crap so they can be rewarded by big business. And you right wingnuts are not bright enough to figure that out.

    February 3, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Too much government

    Why didn't CNN cover this story:

    The Obama administration projects the number of employees on the government payroll will GROW to 2.15 million this year, reportedly making it the largest federal workforce in modern history and fueling criticism over the size of government. (NOTE: Taxes from the private sector pay for these jobs).

    The expansion means the workforce will top 2 million for the first time since President Clinton declared that "the era of big government is over," according to the newspaper.

    The expansion comes even as Obama CALLS FOR cutting the deficit and imposing a three-year freeze on some non-security spending. (NOTE: Obama is all talk. Appease the masses with lies and do what you want).

    February 3, 2010 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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