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. american patriot

    It is time for a REDRESS of our Government.

    I would really LOVE to see the American People storm Washington and FIRE all Members of Congress and the Senate and put Obama on notice.

    Do the peoples work or we will throw you out.

    February 3, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. If you want something ruined, put a republican in charge

    The republicans will not even support their own legislation.

    February 3, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Massachusetts Conservative

    Let's divert attention on the real news this week. Tax increases. Middle Class America feeling the brunt of it. 25% bracket going back up to 28%. 28% bracket going to 31% 33% bracket going to 36%. CNN will bury it with reports about Palin and Don't Ask/Don't Tell. But wake up people...here come the tax increases.

    Tax increases. In an election year. During a recession. And double digit unemployment. Political Suicide.

    The people are waking up and rejecting the Cool-Aid. We want fiscal responsibility. The Middle Class is about to get screwed.

    February 3, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Sgt. USMC

    I love it. Many will agree that this speech was long overdue. But that's the great thing about this President, he waits until the right time to deliver the gut check. I respect his patience and his cool, anyone else would have come out swinging out of the gate. It shows a lot of character and I am proud to call Obama my President. I hope he comes down on the Repugs more often, but he will know when to do it. I have full confidence.

    February 3, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. yuyu

    It is so sad that we still have so many stupid republicans. This country wasn't ready for a president like this one. He is too good and with a complete different point of view than the regular, usual politicians that caused all the troubles we are in right now, that people can't see beyond their eyes. Every one who votes republican again will regret it and then, don't cry and complaint. Just swallow it

    February 3, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Jon

    The best things OB has been doing since he was elected are to blame Bush and Republicans for his woos or mistakes. Bush also had two wars and one year's recession to fight and had a deficit of ~450 billions? Obama? also has two wars and a recession to fight, but Obama's deficits are FOUR-times of Bush's. This guy never takes up any personal responsibility. Oh, someone's faults?

    February 3, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Mike

    uhbama is a complete joke.

    February 3, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Jim

    "Scrap HC and start over from scratch."

    Why don't they strip out the garbage that was added at the last minute and take an up or down vote.

    Let the Repubs filibuster it.

    February 3, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. Pam from Iowa

    Its about time somebody ripped them!
    Every since the 2008 election, Republicans have done nothing but try to further their own personal agendas and re-elections.
    All they have done is point fingers and whine!

    It is time to get off their soapboxes and earn their salaries, and remember why they were elected in the first place – to serve the citizens of their state and country, not themselves!

    February 3, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Edwin

    On health care: the democrats spent four months working with key republicans over the summer, only to get nowhere.

    The last republican they tried to work with was Senator Snowe from Maine. She ultimately said she could not support a bill with a public option. The dems put it in, but in the end they removed it. Guess what? She still said no - and gave no reason this time. The reason is simple: the GOP leaders told her she COULD NOT vote for the bill and keep her job.

    Now that's the sort of compromise we can expect from the republicans!

    February 3, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  11. southerncousin

    Obama's new bipartisanship effort sure looks a lot like his old one. This is one crazed, inept, incompetent weirdo the left wing gave us a president and leader. and I notice his loyal toadies are blasting the republicans using all those great names again. I wonder how many times the teleprompter used the word "I" and "unprecedented" in this mindless blast. He still can't admit Bush was right about Gitmo, so now we are going to have to pay at least $200 million to salve his huge ego and help win some votes for him and the rest of the liberal pinkos. He had a majority in Congress, he can't admit he blew it through his lies, dishonesty and stupidity, so like a typical Democrat, he blames the republicans rather than take responsibility.

    February 3, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. http://twitter.com/whybs

    Treat thugs like we treated the ocean pirates – sock it to them & if they survived, let's have a civilized discussion!

    February 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Gus

    I hope it is not to little to late. About time somebody called out the Republicans and there our way or the highway crap.

    February 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Edwin

    Middle ground... there is no middle ground for the GOP - there are no more moderates in the republican party because they were all kicked out by extremists. So how can democrats hope to find a compromise when the GOP won't budge in its opposition to everything connected to Obama?

    Honestly, they are not blocking because they feel it is the best thing for america. Some are - but most are blocking NEARLY EVERY senatorial decision because it helps the party politically. Forget that it hurts the country.

    Remember the republican motto: party first, country second.

    February 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Sgt. USMC

    Anyone who says that the President has not tried to reach accross the aisle must be one of these so called "real-Americans" who oppose anything the President does. These rush-heads, tea-partyers who want Mr. Obama to fail. Well so called "real-Americans", its unfortunate for you that you are worst than Al Qaeda. You want your own country to fail so you can get another bush/dick duo in office to further destroy this great CHANGING nation. We won't let it happen because we will head to the polls in 2012 and you will lick your wounds once again... and of course you will pout about it. Tough.

    February 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. Joe, Georgia

    It is amazing to me how uninformed the majority of the people making comments really are. The health care bill everyone likes to hate is modeled on similar bills proposed by Bob Dole and many other Republicans who actually ran for elected office to make progress for the Country. Additionally, the policies proposed by the President are absolutely necessary to return our Country to a leadership position in the world. We can't continue to spend double what the rest of the world does on health care. It is a huge tax on our economy and makes our businesses less competative in the world. We also need to reduce our dependence on oil purchased from Countries around the world who would like to destroy our way of life. You really need to wake up and understand what is really going on and find out the truth rather than taking what Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly tell you as a representation of fact. Our Country was once the leader of the world in education, health care and energy. We are now falling behind Europe, China, India and Korea, because we can't get anyone to think about the unity of purpose and common focus that made this Country great. We let fringe elements dominate our political discussion rather than allow the great moderate middle govern for the benefit of the majority.

    February 3, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. YBM

    I see the koolaid drinking non thinking RAWP sheeple are out in force on this one. Anyone not awake to the kind of person Obama is now, does not have enough IQ to wake up, they will always be led around by the nose. As in nature, they should have been abandoned at birth to be removed from the gene pool.

    February 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. barbara

    Here is a fact that must be known to all rational human beings in this nation,..the Congress is controlled by the Dems. That means that they DO NOT need ANY republicans to vote for ANy policy because they can pass it all by themselves. The republicans are not standing in their way because they dont have the manpower to do it. The real reason why the Dem controlled House and Senate CAN NOT seem to get any policies through is because it is the AMERICAN PEOPLE that do not want these policies and they make it known through every means possible. This scares the Dems into thinking that they should at least try to get a few pugs so that they can call it bipartisan. The reaosn that a REPUBLICAN controlled House and Senate CAN get pocies passed with bipartisan votes is simply because the policies are those that the people agree with. The policies that the Dems want passed are not what the people want. simple.

    February 3, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Conservative Voice

    Barry is the ultimate token. OK, now we have had a half black man for President...now how about this time we use something other than race to elect the President?????

    February 3, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Nelson


    I like the comment by If Obama found a cure for Cancer . . .The Republics would yell that he's putting oncologists out of business.

    February 3, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. NYCitizen

    ,Obama's campaign promised transparancy during his administration. This health care reform is rife with closed door, backroom deals, like how Nevada wound up with 100% federally funded Medicare/Medicaid forever! How dare Obam rip the GOP for being obstructionists! I am a registered democrat and this health care reform stinks, and how Obama and the democrats are giong about it stinks of hypocrisy! I hope the dems loose a lot more seats come midterms! Obama is patronizingly arrogant!

    February 3, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Mike in MN

    If as Obama claims the Republicans are simply politicaly motivated in their opposition to his agenda, what is the motivation of the American people for their oppositon on virtually every major issue on Obama's agenda? The polls show a majority of voters are oppsed to health care reform, cap and trade, the stimulus, auto bailouts and the current spending levels.
    Here are the most recent polls on support for health care reform that includes the incorporated Republcian ideas.
    NBC/Wall ST. Jnl. 46% opposed, 31% for
    CNN 58% opposed, 38% for
    NPR 55% opposed, 39% for
    Rasmussen 58% opposed, 40% for
    USA Today/GAllup 55% opposed, 39% for
    Does Obama really expect he can goad the Republcans into voting for health care reform just because it incorporates a few of their ideas but still remains a bad bill that a majority of voters are also opposed to.
    How stupid does he think Republicans are? Why would Republicans start voting for bills that neither they or a majority of voters support. What is obstrution to Obama is standing up for the will of the people for Republicans.
    Obama and the Democrats are left naked as they are 100% owners of the bills that are unpopular with a majority of voters. They must be terrified of what will happen in the 2010 election.

    February 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Peejay

    To all of you whose valuable assessment is that "All Obama's ideas stink", I ask, do you have ideas that don't?

    February 3, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Josh- Rochester, MN

    God forbid there be any opposition!

    If he wanted to be a dictator, he got hiself elected to the WRONG government!

    February 3, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. michael

    The GOP party seems to be obstructionists in that , they have not come up with alternatives to the problems facing this country. They just object to everything. Can the GOP be proactive in these matters. I am truly tired of listening to these political arguements from both sides of the isle.

    February 3, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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