Obama turns conversation to bipartisanship
January 15th, 2011
10:14 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama turns conversation to bipartisanship

(CNN) - One week after the Arizona shootings, President Obama dedicated his weekly address to the memory of the victims and pivoted the conversation toward political bipartisanship.

"As shrill and discordant as our politics can be at times, it was a moment that reminded us of who we really are – and how much we depend on one another," Obama said in Saturday's address. "While we can't escape our grief for those we've lost, we carry on now, mindful of those truths."

Just as members of Congress united to honor Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was among 19 shot – six fatally – in the attack, Obama said congressional leaders should now come together to address job creation, the budget and reduce the deficit.

"As business resumes, I look forward to working together in that same spirit of common cause with members of Congress from both parties – because before we are Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans," Obama said.

Giffords, D-Arizona, remains in critical condition at Tucson's University Medical Center.

In the GOP weekly address, Republican Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake paid tribute to the acts of "heroism" displayed in the attacks, specifically those of Daniel Hernandez, an intern in Giffords' office who is credited with saving the congresswoman's life after she was shot at close range. Although he said the "lives of many are forever changed," he also said members of Congress have a duty to continue to represent their constituents and listen to their concerns.

"While we may not agree on everything, members of Congress are bound together by a sacred oath to support and defend the Constitution," Flake said Saturday. "As Speaker (John) Boehner has said, an attack on one of us is an attack on all who serve – an attack on representative democracy itself."

Filed under: GOP weekly address • Jeff Flake • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    [Remember when he said to McCain–"I won John'.]

    Remember when McCain refused to realize that he LOST???

    [Where was bipartisanship when he forced healthcare through Congress with a seldom used technicality, when it did not have the votes to pass?]

    Where were the RepubliCAN'Ts when they were asked to be a part of the Health Care Reform and they REFUSED to participate? First, they stressed that they wanted to "Start if Over" – therefore, they agreed with some of it. Second, they wanted to "Repeal" and "Replace" it therefore again, they agreed with maybe MOST of it. NOW, they want to REPEAL it, stating the entire package is NO GOOD – therefor, does this mean that they do not agree with any of it???? Who's "flip-flopping" now??

    Regardless of what you thought of in the PAST, accomplishing any thing else would have to be bipartisan in the future – ALL of America is watching!!! It's going to be very obvious, once again, who the REAL obstructionists are!!

    Let's continue to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD with our current leader, President Obama!!

    January 15, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Rationalist

    I wish that we could reach bipartisanship but it won't happen; although it sounds nice. The problem is that one side has done nothing but demonize the President and his administration from the word go without even giving him a chance. At this point both sides are so fired up that compromise has become nearly unattainable on any kind of major issue, any time it does happen the Nation must go through weeks of partisan rage before one side looses it's backbone. If we are ever to return to a time a sanity for Washington, the GOP must reign in it's fire breathing extremists and the Democrats must stop trying play the blame game (most sane people know who it belongs to so lets move on and fix the situation)

    January 15, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  3. Livin' the good life

    We know good always overcomes evil and we will get through this TOGETHER! The hate mongers/retoric spewers/liers and such forth need to put on a new face and quit the B$ and get to work FOR the American people not just for their own likings. Too much crap has been allowed to fester in political circles for too long. Let us get back to our roots. WHY can't people just TRY and be NICE to each other anymore!? Beau Colby.

    January 15, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Chuck

    Imagine, for a moment, that, if OUR President of the United States of America would be 100% White instead of 50% White and 50% African-American, would the Tea Party revolutionaries exist today? Would last November's election results have been different? Would the republican and tea party noise at town hall meeting horror shows ever existed? Would our GOP leaders and representatives continue saying NO to everything the President of the United States of America proposes? Would there have been a Joe Wilson shouting "You Lie" in the middle of a speech being given by the President in front of the entire Senate and House of Representatives?

    January 15, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. PDXSerric

    What, exactly, have the Republicans done to support America? More spending, higher debt, empty ideals and promises on things such as immigration and healthcare while totally ignoring jobs. Of you vote, vote for AMERICA not just your party. Read. Listen. Learn about the candidates. Don't be content on relying on the interpretation of others.

    January 15, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. NVa Native

    Obama has always pursued bi-parisainship, even as the Repubs from the very start of his days in office attacked everything he tried to do for highly partisain reasons. It is good that some Repubs are starting to "talk" about acting in a more civil way, it is said it took such a tragity to get here. But when dealing with the current Repub politicians and their supporters – as Regan once said – "trust but verify".

    January 15, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Marianne

    Stay the course Mr. President. You displayed true Leadership, and human compassion.
    Republicans can't portray this emotion, especially with Palin leading them. Not one Republican has come to state the truth about Palin except Mama Bush!

    January 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. DLP, Manhattan, KS

    hummm....why would BHO/Dems now want bipartisanship with his/thier "enemies"? Where was this spirit during the last session when Dems engaged in hand to hand combat in order to forcibly cram ObamaCare and trillions of debt down the throats of thier enemies? Thank you but no.

    BHO was right when he said elections have consequences. Win or lose. BHO and the Dems socialist policies were overwhelmingly repudiated by the vast majority of voting Americans. I'm sorry but if riding in the back seat was good for those who opposed them I for one think it should also be good for BHO and the Dems hop in the back for awhile.

    Why is it now desirable to intersperse Reps and Dems during the State of the Union? Why is it now vogue to be worried about having a healing debate and not wounding? Where was this spirit during the last session when BHO and the Dems treated over half the population of America, and their elected representatives, with derision and contempt for not embracing their radical left agenda?

    Now with sadness we see the Dems and their media hacks attempting to use the victims of the AZ shootings as a means to promote their agenda by obfuscating the results of our last election. This is pathetic yet typical and clearly illustrates why the leaders of the Dem party can not to be trusted in thier calls for bipartisanship.

    Let them prove their new found goodwill through thier own words, actions and policy and maybe over time Americans will let them ride up front with us again.

    January 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. Marcus

    Sue – 'Republicans are still going to stop the millions of newly registered Democrats by enforcing our immigration laws.'
    Sigh... OK... Let's try it once more...
    The immigration laws, the ones that counts (in other words the FEDERAL ones, all others are UNconstitutional) are being enforced by THIS presidency way more than by the previous. Check the numbers (that CAN'T BE FAKED!!!!) about money allocated, personnel allocated, resources allocated, and the consequences of all this allocation.
    The immigration laws ARE being enforced (regardless of what FAUX News tells you) and any newly entitled to vote former immigrant and now a citizen of the USA will vote (if he or she wants to) in the next election.
    If you think that they don't vote Republican (and spare me of why you think that) too bad for you...
    Vote Republican IS NOT a requirement to gain US citizenship.

    January 15, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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