Obama turns conversation to bipartisanship
January 15th, 2011
10:14 AM ET
11 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. AEJ

    Mr. President you are on the right track. Congratulations to a great leader.
    Glean Beck called the president a racists. For all you Beck, Palin, Rush lovers please take note. Glenn Beck has been dropped by New York radio station WOR due to poor ratings, the New York Daily News reports. Beck's radio show is due to go off the air on Jan. 17, and he is being replaced by Mike Gallagher, another nationally syndicated conservative talk show host. Although Beck's radio show is the third-biggest in the country, WOR program director Scott Wakefield told the Daily News, "Somewhat to our surprise, the show wasn't getting what we wanted." WOR is one of New York's two biggest talk radio stations, and the Daily News said it is unclear which local station Beck will be able to move his show to. Meanwhile, Politico notes that Beck's television ratings took a slight tumble in 2010. He was down 6.5% in total viewers compared to 2009, and 2.5% in the coveted A25-54 demo.

    Do you people who are full of hate see what's happening to your beloved talkers? Thank God for people in America who knows better and have a brain and can think for themselves.

    January 15, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Flake is a Flake. Need I say any more. Have known him and friends of his for years.

    January 15, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. once upon a horse

    as I have stated before "good luck with that Mr President"...give it maybe another couple of weeks and it's going to back to business as usual with the GOP vs you. Their main agenda is STILL to make you a one term president and by working WITH you and getting things done would not be in their best interest. Despite polls claim that the American people want both parties to work together, when one party, the GOP is on a mission to take back the Senate AND the White House in 2012 working together is not on the table.

    January 15, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. addon

    This President is really making me proud of this country. This is called leadership folks....like or dislike President Obama's policies, but none can deny this is how a president leads.

    January 15, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Gil

    You don't Seriously think that the robotic republicans who seem to act like lemmings when it comes to a vote are going to suddenly turn bipartisan? Sad!

    January 15, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY


    Fine, but do it based on HUMAN not Corporate interests.

    January 15, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    How can we support the republicans? They are all about increasing our national debt, denying the CBO report on health reform, dividing our country, pushing hate, attacking the middle class, sucking up to big oil and big businesses. They are good at lying, though.

    January 15, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. T'sah from Virginia

    President Obama – from DAY 1 – always wanted to practice "bipartisanship"!!! The other side refused to. Now that the "other side" has control of the HOUSE – let's see if President Obama's struggle from the past materializes into what the American people really want – "crossing the aisle and getting along".and NOT into the business for your own "personal" interest!! Yes We Can!!

    Let's continue to MOVE AMERICA FORWARD with our current leader, President Obama, as he moves towards a positive direction!!

    January 15, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. Sue

    Where were all of Obama's speeches regarding 'bipartisanship' before the midterm elections? Remember when he said to McCain--"I won John'.

    Obama needs to realize......Issa is still going to have the investigations, the Republicans are still going to try to stop Obamacare by withholding funding, and the Republicans are still going to stop the millions of newly registered Democrats by enforcing our immigration laws.

    January 15, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Jess C.

    This goes to both political parties, but I have to say the empahsis is on the GOP. Focs on jobs! We don't want to re-invent the healthcare bill; don't waste our tax dollars on repealing. If you go by your words, you say you "have a duty to represent your constituents"....fine. We all want to see more jobs and that doesn't mean overseas; we want jobs here in the USA. Quit focusing on corporations and big money....serve the people and help rebuild middle America. Tax breaks to the wealthy is ludicrous and irresponsible; change that. Lose your agenda to get rid of Obama and learn to play together like big boys and girls who deserve our hard earned tax dollars. We're sick of the contentious political games.

    January 15, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. BobRayTalbot

    NOW he wants bipartisanship. Where was bipartisanship when he forced healthcare through Congress with a seldom used technicality, when it did not have the votes to pass? Let him eat cake.

    January 15, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. dominickspez

    Too bad he lost all credibility on bipartisanship last year with his flip-flops and false promises. You have to wonder just how clueless he is. For example on the White House policy page his position is for focusing on Math and Science–as he often says-and yet NCLB is solely focused on Math and ELA-not Science,History,ETC,ETC.-nuff said

    January 15, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. willie floyd

    If the previous members , (Rep. & Blue Dogs) continue to say NO to everything Pres. O says, they may see a REAL shellacking on their part in 2012. Keep up the good work Mr. Pres. and stay strong-don't let your veto pen get out of your pocket!

    January 15, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. JDW

    When all is seemingly lost, the cold has penetrated to the bone, hope remains when we persevere - taking that extra measure of effort the lesser call futile. Thank you Mr. President. Hope remains!

    January 15, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. keepstuffingthis

    After he has spent four years, trash talking those of us who disagree with him, I feel very skeptical. You gotta remember he ran to the center to win the presidency (in other words, he lied), and as soon has he got it, he ran away to the left and we now are paying those bills and getting ready to pay more.

    January 15, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. vic nashville tn

    Sir stay where you are let them come to you. We know you reach to republicans many times they refuse to work with you they wee counting on 2010 now it’s over

    The rumors spread by republicans start to hunt them

    Palin words and action hurting the nation

    Republicans only like Gov. Paul LePage vocabulary so they won’t listen to you

    January 15, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. BeanerECMO

    Whenever the left gets a shellacking or they can't pin the blame for a heinous act on conservatives, the flag of bipartisanship is waved right after the racist flag is hoisted.

    January 15, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Gene Carr

    Obama wants bipartissanship now because he has no alternative. After 2008 when the Democrats controlled both houses he showed nothing but contempt for the GOP. In Nov the GOP won the Dems lost. deal with. The Tea Party and Sarah Palin were crucial to that outcome. Hence the obscene attempt to smear them with a 'blood' libel'. What is particularly obscene is the callous use of tragedy and death to manufacture this smear.

    As for the Memorial service, it was run more live a revival meeting, complete with a snake oil salesman and even a 'faith healing'. Disgusting.

    January 15, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Tish

    I love you Mr. President!! God Bless America and God Bless you Mr. President.

    January 15, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Robert

    The only reason for President Obama to 'try' to work with the Republicans is to get re-elected. He isn't a great leader and has not given people without a job much to believe in. If so, he would have already followed thru on his words from the last State of the Union ---jobs are my #1 priority. There is little to trust from DC on both sides of the aisle. I am curious though, how people feel he has lead this Country into anything other than huge debt and a larger – less efficient government. Like I said, nothing to trust from DC.

    January 15, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. marty

    First, Mr. Obama WON the presidency, he was not court appointed. Second, I seem to recall that when it was apparent that a health care bill was going forward, the insurance companies began to unabashedly raise their premiums 28% and higher in California and then all across the United States. Their concern was the profit line, not the patient's welfare and it remains so.
    Third and last, while viewing the horror scene in Arizona, I genuinely prayed that all victims had health insurance, especially after previous news from the state that budget constraints forced them to deny certain donor transplants. Two patients died after that horrible announcement.
    When the new Congress begins to try to repeal the Health bill, I shall keep Arizona in mind.

    January 15, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Whatever

    Well the GOP can spend the next year or two focusing on "repealing" Healthcare Insurance Reform, they will be OUT of "control". JOBs, JOBs, JOBs is what they talked about and now pivoting to Healthcare Insurance Reform. I would love for the new press secretary or chief of staff to call out ALL the GOP about "repealing" Healthcare Insurance when they ALL have insurance coverage. The new motto should be "No repeal just amend" anytime the question is asked about the "repeal" and remind the press that the President is waiting on Congress to pass a JOBs bill!!!!

    Any "repeal" talk should be met with one word – -JOBs!!!

    I think this will be the quickest tenure of a Speaker of the House...

    January 15, 2011 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Monster Zero

    Do not be fooled again America...a Progressive Liberal is a Progressive Liberal, regardless of race, creed or religion, another name for Socialism Lite. Your policies and your ideology are not those on which America is based, perhaps Van Jones and Bill Ayers can assist you in your 2012 campaign effort.

    January 15, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Mom concerned for the future

    President Obama incorporated many GOP ideas into the stimulus package (specifically more tax cuts instead of more investment - which was not a good thing) and only received two or three GOP votes for his trouble. President Obama met with the GOP to go through their ideas on healthcare reform. He incorporated some of their ideas (specifically healthcare exchanges) and received almost no GOP votes for his trouble. The extreme right will always say President Obama is not bipartisan and "shoves things down their throats" simply because he didn't do every single thing they wanted. President Obama is not going to subscribe to the "tax cuts fix everything" and "no regulation is good regulation" ideaology of the right. It simply doesn't work and has not led to good outcomes for our country. However, President Obama has shown time and again that he is willing to compromise (GOP's insistence on tax cuts for the rich is a recent example). The GOP has done nothing but say NO for the last two years. They GOP has no new ideas. Tax cuts for the rich and big business along with no regulation and false claims of fiscal responsibility are all they have. Hopefully Americans will wake up and smell the coffee. Let the Democrats move things in the right direction by investing in middle class Americans instead of the rich and large corporations that are shipping our jobs overseas. The Democrats have proven they are MORE fiscally responsible than the GOP [check the facts regarding which US Presidents greatly increased the debt (all GOP) and which did not (all Democrat)]. Vote in more Democrats in 2012 so we can finally move forward. Aren't you sick of the GOP's hate-mongering and false promises yet?

    January 15, 2011 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We are all our neighbors keeper, not our neighbors hater and until all citizens of this country realize that we will self destruct and will have no one to blame but ourselves. Speak up and don't tolerate hate, violence and be aware of those around you who want to lead you into a violent state because they are preying upon you to be weak and unable to know what's right or wrong.

    January 15, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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