Gibbs: Republicans are accountable now
December 26th, 2010
09:11 AM ET
12 years ago

Gibbs: Republicans are accountable now

(CNN) - With significant Republican gains in the U.S. House and Senate and a new session of Congress around the corner, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Republican Party now has more responsibility to govern.

"There was a responsibility of government that I think the Republicans got in the November elections and they began to understand that responsibility a little bit more in this lame duck session than they had in the previous, quite frankly, 18 months or so," Gibbs said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

He said the party can no longer afford to "simply sit and say no," and instead needs to continue the trend from the lame duck session of being part of a constructive conversation. Gibbs said part of that trend should be making 2011 a year to put politics aside because there will be plenty of time to campaign for the 2012 elections.

However, when Congress returns in January members will likely face a legislative agenda that includes typically partisan issues. Gibbs said the president wants to strengthen entitlement programs for future generations and address the long-term deficit and education.

"We are certainly hopeful that the Republicans come into next year with a willingness to sit down at that table and begin having a discussion about how we're going to make progress," Gibbs told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "Sometimes the first step is the biggest one."

Gibbs also said he doesn't expect major changes in President Obama's Cabinet and would be surprised if the president decided not to run for reelection.

"We're making progress and I know he wants to continue making that progress and finish those jobs," Gibbs said.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

Filed under: Robert Gibbs • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. KatR

    During the lame duck Congress I watched CSPAN coverage of some of the debate regarding the START treaty. I heard Sen. McConnell speak of how the Democrats were once again trying to ram the ratification of the treaty through Congress w/o the deliberation it deserved. Sen.Kerry responded stating that the issue had been brought up several times over the past several months and that the concerns the GOP had were presented to the President and he had adequately responded. Kerry also quoted the oft-used phrase, "everyone is entitled to their opinions, but not their own facts". For the past 2 yrs Republicans have presented their version of facts to Americans. Many believed those facts. However, only 37% of eligible voters cast ballots in the Nov election. In spite of the meager turnout, the GOP actually believes that the majority of people support their governing ideologies. They are in for a big surprise. I'm reminded of the old proverb.....oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

    December 26, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. David

    I don't think Mr. Gibbs needs to worry about the Republicans governing. He will get more governing than he ever wanted come January 5.

    December 26, 2010 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Gyrogearloose

    It seems to me that sometimes doing nothing is the the best available choice. Republicans, and congress in general, should feel no need to take action on every issue that is surfaced.

    December 26, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. whatnot

    They can, and should, say "no" to bad bills and bad policies, and unread legislation, and inadequately-considered legislation, and legislation whose long-term and wide-spread consequences have not been considered. Any "compromise" coming from the White House and Democrats at this point was forced by the 2010 results. Without those results, there would not ha ve been any compromise.

    December 26, 2010 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. nochoice

    I wish we had another legitimately electable part to vote for in the next election. These two parties are now only extensions of different corporate interest. We have no real choice. So, the Republicans ran the country into the ground during the Bush years, so people voted for Democrats and they didn't live up to their promises. So ... people were fed up in the midterms and who did they vote for? The same horrible republicans. People will get fed up with them and then vote for the same ol' Democrats. Back and forth and back and forth. It's just a matter of time before the reality bubble of lies about how great America is. It WAS great but now it's a corporate oligarchy where citizens have no rights and we have to suffer the whims of corporations. We're told we have to suffer gun nuts and nazi free speech to have "freedom" but I don't see Europeans suffering by not having hand guns or limiting nazi hate speech. They have more economic mobility that American do now, a better set of human and social rights for individuals and health care. What's the point?

    December 26, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. MrRobertK

    Sometimes No is the correct answer Mr. Gibbs.

    December 26, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. don bist

    When are these elected officials going to drop the ax and begin to perform as one, for the betterment of the country. The constant bickring and mud slinging gets the american public nowhere, either economically or as conscientious voters. This news account was nothing more than an obituary about progress by "the other party" as said by Obama's clone.

    December 26, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Ken

    Democrats & Republicans ad nauseum. People, there are other choices; Libertarians, Constitution, independents to name just a few. The two-party system works only marginally better than a one-party system. The big two know they only need wait for us to get frustrated with the ones in power for the pendulum to swing back their way. The moneyed special interests pay both sides. Break the stranglehold the Dems & Repubs have on this country by voting 3rd, 4th & 5th party. At the local level, I've seen this work; several years back, Madison WI's incumbent mayor came in 4th for reelection and change happened. I go mostly Libertarian myself, since having worked for government a long time I've seen how irrational and wasteful and often at cross purposes versus other programs the spending decisions are. TSA patdowns of all airline customers, for example, yet airport employee checks are pitifully inadequate.

    December 26, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Veritas

    The GOP will continue to block legislation as long it is doesn't benefit their constituents, big corporation and ultra wealthy investors. Working Americans have no reason to vote for these guys; they manage to get the support vote of the redneck gun toting bible thumpers by pandering to the anti gay & religious sentiments those people are fond of.

    December 26, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Al in Virginia

    Maybe the Obama administration should start looking at the Unions that are forcing American Companies to go overseas. A good example of what can be accomplished is with the automobiles that are being built by foreign companies in the states where labor unions don't have a foothold yet. No wonder Michigan has such high unemployment..

    December 26, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. Veritas

    The GOP will continue to block legislation as long it is doesn't benefit their constituents, big corporation and ultra wealthy investors. Working Americans have no reason to vote for these guys; they manage to get the support vote of the redneck gun toting bible thumpers by pandering to the anti gey & religious sentiments those people are fond of.

    December 26, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. Jeff

    Have you ever noticed...Gibbs is always smiling. There are very few times he doesnt. Makes you think...he smiles because he's the cat that ate the canary.

    December 26, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  13. Monster Zero

    lefty avenger

    Republicans destroyed the country by gambling away all the money in their wall street casino.
    Are you serious, you better take a little closer look at what role Fannie Mae and Freddie Crack lending practices created in the market, particularly mortgage derivatives bundling. Just like a Democrat, overlook the sickness and blame the medicine for the cure... Lending to unqualified recipients set the housing market afire for banks to lend, for National Home Builders to build, Developers to develop at an unregulated rate...pop went the bubble and now here we are. You're killing me, yuk yuk, you got any more good ones?

    December 26, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |

    Tom Coburn paints a scary picture. I think he has been reading the book of revelation.

    December 26, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  15. vic nashville tn

    After the election Tea party disappeared that mean republican move with my way or no way nothing will get done DC that may be true
    Pointing fingers now to early

    December 26, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. juno reaction

    Let's take a minute a think about it. The poor. Abused rebuplicans were in charge 10 years with absolute power and they did such a great job and the best part is they care a lot about the working class, our soldiers, 9/11 workers, and all Americans.
    They have no interest in protecting he rich and are the most honorable politicians on earth. Cough cough.

    December 26, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. CD


    "Yeah after you & Obama/Dems drove the economy off the cliff!!! So all this time of blaming the Republicans was what? More lies? How funny. Obama is the President. The buck stops with him moron. I love the hypocrisy. LOL!!!

    So who really is in charge. Republicans or Obama?"
    You might want to get the facts straight next time and rein in your partisanship because the fact is the country was driven off the cliff way before Obama was sworn in. And no I am not saying that the Dems dont share in the blame with the republicans for the problem or that Obama isnt without flaws because the fact is the Dems do share in the blame with the republicans and Obama has made some flawed decisions but so far they are not anything that cant be fixed.

    December 26, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |

    @stevegee...that was really funny.

    December 26, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  19. Jim

    Keep hoping. GOP is the party, "By the bullies, Of the bullies, For the bullies".

    December 26, 2010 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
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