October 26th, 2010
04:54 PM ET
12 years ago

WH bristles over top Republicans' remarks

(CNN)–The White House is firing back at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after he told the National Journal that "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

With his usual sarcastic tone, spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters "maybe Senator McConnell is interested in running for President."

The White House believes that fixing the ailing economy is the single most important thing, so top aides jumped at the chance to paint McConnell's comments as more business as usual, and part of the problem that landed the "car in the ditch."

Gibbs said there will be time in two years for a presidential campaign, but that "members of the Senate are elected and hired by the people of the United States to get stuff done for the people of the United States, not posture and play political games, gum up the system."

Senator McConnell's spokesman Don Stewart told CNN that senators "are not elected to rubber-stamp the President's agenda, particularly when that agenda conflicts with the will of their constituents." Stewart did not back away from McConnell's comments, reiterating that "ending the Obama Administration's liberal agenda as soon as possible is Sen. McConnell's top political priority."

He said the White House is only targeting them in order to avoid focusing on their failed economic policies.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitch McConnell • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (274 Responses)
  1. toldya

    ..."elected to get things done..." unless you lied about your intentions to get into office, disguised communism as "change" and take EVERY opportunity to screw the hard working taxpayers. Then, the real americans expect you to take a stand against these criminals. Tell me, all you wise liberals, how do the republicans block any of Obamao's agenda when the communists have a super majority?

    October 26, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. Alton Smith

    I am a democrat. I do not like McConnel. I do however, think Obama should be a 1 term president. He did nothing for immigration reform. He did nothing to help Mexicans, African Americans, or Asians. He instead focused on healthcare and the bank bailouts. I will sit this election out. As will most of my MEXICAN-AMERICAN friends, co-workers, and neighbors. TERM LIMITS!!! Thanks for the empty promises, Mr. Presidente.

    October 26, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. MDWhite

    "...members of the Senate are elected and hired by the people of the United States to get stuff done for the people of the United States, not posture and play political games, gum up the system."

    "Posture and play political games..."? Really? What a smug, hypocritical, condescending ass.

    Fine, weenie, we hired 'em and we can fire 'em. Just wait 'til next Tuesday.

    October 26, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  4. astralweeks

    Let me put it in a vernacular all you low achieving Jon Stewart libs can understand: Obama sucks. As for what Gibbs said, Mitch for president? Not a bad idea.

    October 26, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Danel

    And replace the president with Palin? Gingrich? Pawlenty? No thank you.

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. C Hebert

    1) Mitch is right
    2) We have a two-party system. If they're agreeing and walking in harmony, that might be the exception, and not the rule.
    3) Our unemployment is 9 1/2%. The White House approach isn't working. It would be stupid to support it.

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. astralweeks

    Her emmett, yeah, check the red and blue states, which are in the toilet, and which are hanging on and doing pretty darn well. Those in the tank are yours. Heh-heh-heh

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Bill D.

    "How else can you explain their outright negligence in working to get our country and the economy back on track. They have worked with wall street, the banking industry, the oil industry and the health care industry "....Katie

    so......take those four industries out of the picture, Katie, and what is left that will get the country back on track? This may require some independent thought on your part (not just repeating talking points that you've heard)

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. AZ Dem

    Not like it wasn't COMPLETLY obvious already this was their strategy but McConnel only confirms it. THIS idea/strategy is exactly why for the last 2 years the GOP in the House AND Senate have continuously fought the president on EVERY issue. Things that they proposed and were supporting before "all of a sudden" became bad policy and they wanted to scrap any idea Obama or the Dems came up with. They have conceded that issues in the country to mean more than Obama NOT acheiving ANY victories with the American public. Its sickening because the GOP have made Obama's first 2 years very difficult yet he was able to use his majorities to pass his agenda. After the mid-terms it'll be interesting to see if they still oppose everything he does or if they'll actually start doing the job they were sent to Washington to do.....almost certain it WON'T be the latter

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Namej

    Odumba is finally gonna see the proof once and for all that his policies are not welcome when the American people vote in one week.

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  11. Abel

    I love the Obama supporters. You sheep are the reason the so many have overwhelmingly abandoned your party base. Your president is divisive to your own party, start there before talking republicans. What happens when the radical part of your party takes over your party? Moderates must jump ship and support republicans. It's very fascinating. The political stage this year is exciting to see a sleeping electorate actually go out of their way to see how our government is failing us. Republican and Democrats are to blame. Those who support Obama's agenda are so blind to this fact. They will never change from their cursed loyalty to one party instead of their country. Republicans are not liked either. . .but atleast they are the voices attacking the government this time around. We, the voters, must hold our elected officials accountable for serving the American people.

    October 26, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Weew

    Democrats: The bell tolls for thee. Your time is up.

    We, the productive Americans who are the source of all the values you seek, know that you will have no one to mooch from or loot if we revoke our sanction. In one week, we shall emphatically do just that.

    We do not need you.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. AMEN

    senators "are not elected to rubber-stamp the President's agenda, particularly when that agenda conflicts with the will of their constituents." This is the key statement here. Obama, Reid, Pelosi and their ilk have not even looked across the aisle, much less reached across. I certainly hope Mr. Gibbs counsels the President to learn how to cooperate with Congress and somehow reach common ground with the American people. He really needs to be a one-term President. He is so out of touch with the general population. How did that man ever get elected? He threatens and stomps his feet like a petulant child when he doesn't get his way. Making statements like "the Republicans have to take the back seat" is not conducive to governing. His teachers should be ashamed of themselves.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. idiots

    You democrats are such sheep. Your narcissistic messiah hasn't needed one republican vote for any of his policies to pass. Yet, you sheep continue to blame republicans. Who do you think has been in control of the Senate and Congress for the ENTIRE economic downturn? Not the republicans. But you'll continue to re-elect crooks like bawny fwank into office.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Why do the taxpayers have to pay for unemployment, housing, food, education, healthcare, transportation for people who choose not to work and pay for the improvement of their own life. I work and pay taxes, I pay my bill, including mortgage. I don't expect or want government (tax payers) to pay for anything I may want or think I need. I can't side with demoncats or really republicans when it comes to all these government handouts. Hey, here's an idea.....want to improve yourself. Get an education, don't get into trouble (jail/prison time), avoid drugs, avoid getting pregnant (or fathering a child) out of wedlock, and maybe avoid getting married too young. And work. avoid becoming dependant on government programs/handouts.
    Oh, race has nothing to do with my distain for the government as it is now. I don't care for these policies that take the motivation, discipline and responsibility from many citizens. Why look for or take a couple lower paying jobs if i can get taxpayers to pay for me....how pathetic.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. MNHawk

    Um...now if I get this correctly, this would be the first time in history the party out of power, wanted to win back power in the next election cycle.

    And Journalism School graduates, from reading this article and others, believe this?

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Greg

    I realize that for some people here Republican equals racist, evil, satan (take your pick). However, how were the Republicans in congress supposed to work with Democrats? Every time they proposed something they were either not allowed to offer it up for consideration on the floor or the Democrats voted it down. I truly believe that for many of you, "work with" means accept whatever the Democrats want. Just consider the news reports from the first meeting concerning the stimulus between congressional Republicans and President Obama. Republicans offered proposals and after they were finished with their presentation, the President said that elections have consequences and I won so we'll go with our ideas. They have every right to do that because they did win the election. However, you can't turn around and then criticize Republicans because their suggestions did not end up in the bill! You can't say that Democrats worked with Republicans because they disregarded all the suggestions without batting an eye.

    I understand that often politics is emotional but some of you need to take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective. Republicans are not "enemies" they are "opponents."

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. John G

    'The White House believes that fixing the ailing economy is the single most important thing' If this was true then why did they spend over a year passing health care when the majority didn't want it? We all know the reason because he's an ideolog that MUST pass his agenda at ANY cost.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. David Baker

    If one disagrees with the policies and intentions of a president, it is logical that one would want that president to not be elected to a second term. What is so amazing about this? Democrats disagreed with many of George Bush's policies and intentions and worked hard to limit him to one term in the 2004 election. Duh!

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Little Napoleon

    Dean is right.

    Democrats and the media routinely say that Bush is responsible for the financial mess that we are in, but they never explain how. I challenge anyone reading this comment to explain what precisely Bush did to cause the mess. Be specific. Deregulation? Uh, no. There was no financial deregulation under Bush (in fact there was substantial regulation in the form of Sarbanes-Oxley). Moreover, while the Republicans were somewhat complicit in making Fannie and Freddie into the monsters that they became, it was by and large the Democrats who in the name of "affordable housing" blocked efforts by McCain, Bush and others to reform those entities, and thus the Democrats are largely responsible for causing the subprime mortgage crisis.

    While Bush was irresponsible in some of his actions (e.g., the Medicare drug benefit), Obama and the Democrats have doubled or tripled down on his irresponsibility. The "blame Bush" refrain was never based on accurate history and has become increasingly tired and unpersuasive to American voters who recognize that the Democrats have controlled Congress for four years and things have just gotten worse under their watch. I look forward to the Republicans taking control of the House (and hopefully the Senate as well) on Tuesday and to Obama officially becoming a single term president as a result of the election in November 2012. Our only hope is for someone like Chris Christie, Paul Ryan or Bobby Jindal to become president in January 2013. Please God make it happen.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. GonzoinHouston

    This is a classic example of that old saw, "An accident is when a politician says the truth in public." McConnell just told the truth in public – the top priority of the GOP has nothing to do with helping America or Americans; it's all about defeating Obama and getting the GOP back into power.

    And with all due respect, Dean, the one bill that did the most damage to the economy was when then-Senator Graham, R-TX, slipped in an amendment to an appropriation that effectively banned the government from any form of regulation of derivatives. This allowed the credit-default swaps (CDS) that were attached to Mortgage-backed Securities and made them look like something for nothing. CDS's were also at the heart of the collapse of the banks and especially AIG. But I'll meet you halfway and agree that both parties are guilty of gross negligence in causing this recession.

    October 26, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Elizabeth

    Too many people are fogetting who got us in this mess. You think the economy is bad now, just let these morons get control again. They dont care about the middle class or the poor, just the tax breaks for the wealthy. And they want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment. There is no compassion in these people. They are playing you once again to gain control. Its no longer the fifties and the population is changing color and that makes them angry. Obama got the short end of the stick when he took the White House after George W. Two wars and a recession. Stop blaming him. This is a Republican mess delivered to us all by Bush, Cheney and crew. The whole bunch are consumate liars and thieves and they are going to steal what left of your prosperity and sell it to the highest bidding corporation. Wake up!!!!

    October 26, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Name

    The ditch is really aaas grave of American values

    October 26, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. William

    when you have a horrible CEO, you get rid of him. Nothing more nothing less. When you hire a community agitator to do a real job then you get what we have gotten. Lots of talk, lots of crap we didn't want a guy playing racial politics.

    October 26, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Obamamammajamma

    I love it when Dems do that folksy talk. Where else are you going to find a Harvard Law School grad from Hawaii via Indonesia who's been a-workin' and a-doin' and a-thinkin'? Yup, nope, mayhaps. Then you slide into the preacher cadence, but you can't quite get the accent right beacause the only other accent you are really familar with is the Midwest farmer talk you heard for whitey grandma and grandpa before you were a-throwin' them under the bus.

    October 26, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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