President Obama blasts partisanship in weekly address
August 13th, 2011
11:06 AM ET
10 years ago

President Obama blasts partisanship in weekly address

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama railed against partisan politics Saturday during the presidential weekly address.

“There’s nothing wrong with our country,” he declared.

“There is something wrong with our politics.”

Citing “brinkmanship” as an obstacle to growing the economy and creating jobs, the president criticized “the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right.”

“That’s what’s holding us back,” he said. “Some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.”

Listing ways Congress can get the economy on track, the president proposed extending the payroll tax cut, cutting “red tape” in the patent process so that entrepreneurs can get ideas to the market more quickly, and finishing trade deals to boost the sale of American-made goods around the globe.

Obama owned his own frustration and called on those feeling the same to hold their elected officials accountable.

“I don’t think it’s too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering,” he reasoned.

“If you agree with me-whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or not much of a fan of either-let them know.”

Obama admitted “we’ve still got a long way to go to get where we need to be” because “we didn’t get into this mess overnight and it’s going to take time to get out of it.”

But for the president, that’s “no excuse” for inaction.

“America voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government,” Obama resolved.

“When we come together and find common ground, there’s no stopping this country.”

And though Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey agreed that the president “inherited a weak economy” in the Republican weekly address, he also accused Obama of making the economy worse.

As the president blasted partisan politics, Toomey slammed the president’s economic policy.

“His administration told us passing [the] stimulus bill would keep unemployment below 8 percent. Instead, since the stimulus was enacted…the unemployment rate has averaged over 9 percent,” the freshman senator said.

“Clearly, the policies of this administration are not working.”

Toomey blamed the troubled economy on “job-killing regulations” enacted by agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, National Labor Relations Board, and Federal Communications Commission.

“With so many burdens and the threat of new obstacles in the future, it’s not hard to understand why job creators are leery of assuming the risk and costs that come with starting a new business or expanding,” he said.

While Toomey, who was recently appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - a “super committee” tasked with recommending ways to reduce the deficit by the year’s end - insisted “government has to get out of the way,” he also admitted some regulations are needed to “keep us safe.”

Calling for necessary regulations to be “enacted in a thoughtful manner,” Toomey sought to eliminate those that are “most harmful” such as health care reform.

He pledged to use his “super committee” service to develop a proposal that will reduce government spending and “help to create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.

“Our strength doesn’t come from a bigger government controlling our economy,” Toomey said. “It comes from a free enterprise system and the hard-working, honest citizens who make it run.”

Filed under: GOP weekly address • Pat Toomey • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Atlanta Independent

    I like when Prez Obama get tough with the teabaggars and the republicans please win my vote back prez Obama

    August 13, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  2. Jerry

    Mr. clueless president, presidents who live in glass houses (payed for by taxpayers funds) should refrain from throwing stones.

    August 13, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. SecedingfromTexas

    You are absolutely right, as well as other bloggers who try to explain "our" thinking with reason and proof. The
    screamers and haters, however, don't care about reasonable arguments. The hate just pours out of their mouths
    with no regard to how lame and mentally insufficient they sound. I think our biggest diagreement is the fact that
    we remember the last ten years, and the devastation that has been dumped on us, our troops, the middle class,
    etc while the haters either slept through the whole thing, or they just don't give a Hoover's Dam.

    August 13, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. WiredweirdinSF

    You mean the same inept, incompetent, corrupt, union toady president who calls those who disagree with him "economic terroritsts" and a whole lot of other names, and is making decisions, policies soley on the basis of what can get him reelected is denouncing partisanship? What a hypocrite and liar.

    August 13, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. maikl

    Lets be fair: what Obama did for AMERICA in 3 years. Just kva-kva-kva. You Obama's lovers now that . But you will closed your eyes .You stay home, but Obama go for another vacations on your money($50.000) just rent. Many people forget time when they got vacations, but this man take every 3-4 month. This is YES WE CAN?

    August 13, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Doug

    "this nation is totally uneducated. GOP made this nation "Uneducated" to play their politics, and become richer and richer out of uneducated. It is Truthful statement."

    Typical Democrat, it would be nice to find an exception but we all know that none exists, years and years of not doing your own thinking and living by a sworn oath to lies and hate will do that to ya.

    Obama is right, our nation does have a problem, but don't worry Mr. President, the Americans who actually make a positive contribution to society will fix it in November 2012

    August 13, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Doug

    "What about the WILL OF THE PEOPLE that elected President Obama and a majority Democratic House and Senate in 2008?"

    Hmmn, forgetting 2010 on purpose, or is it that you having gotten the updating talking point script from yet.

    The people fixed the house in 2010 and we will fix the Senate and the White House in 2012. You will be on hear on November 8th 2012 just like the other bots screaming about how racist America is. As a Democrat calling people racist is...well its liberal, which now means the ultimate form of hypocrisy known to man.

    August 13, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. valwayne

    The most rabidly extreme left wing partisan President in U.S. history whines and blames others some more! That's all that Barack...don't blame me...Obama ever does! Whine and complain. Obama's extreme left wing policies have melted down our eocnomy over nearly 3 years and left us with millions and millions and millions of long term UNEMPLOYED. So what does Obama do? He whines, he blames, he goes to Fundraisers with rich people, and then he goes on vacation to Marth's Vinyard where all the rich arrogant left wingers vacation away from average working Americans for the summer. Obama is the worst President in U.S. history.

    August 13, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  9. mac691

    The party of Obama,Pelosi, and Reid is now telling us not to be partisan. Irony, thy name is liberalism.

    August 13, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Kalamere

    Themost Partisan President in history has created ahate filled environment and he is the worst offender.HEis the one whois unwilling tocompromise,he doesn't even listen. He's a pompus jerk.

    August 13, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. Albo58

    Obama is one of the biggest party hacks to ever hold the office and he wants to whine about partisan politics? He has absolutely no creditability with his "I'm the adult in the room " grandstanding! Sure, he will always retain the support of the spongers of society, but the American taxPAYERS are fed up with his actual "accomplishments" and his blather...ABO 2012!

    August 13, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Jacob

    We made a mistake and should have elected Hillary. Clinton's know how to deal and there's no doubt in my mind that regardless of what republicans were in congress, she would have been EFFECTIVE as a LEADER.

    Hillary please run so we can get some real leadership !!

    August 13, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Just As I Thought

    Think Again said; Obambi is not the problem, Republicans are the problem.....WRONG.....your fearless Leader just threw ALL Congress under the bus, EVEN Democrats! Shows where Obambi's priority is.....On Himself!
    As for ObambiCare; For ANYONE to suggest this was NOT rammed down America's throat is simply being Dilusional!
    The "tingly leg feeling" is gone.....Obambi was Not the Wizard of Wonder all you expected! He will go down in history as the Worst President EVER.....worse than Buchannan, who sit in the WH & did NOTTA to preventbthe Brewing Civil War.
    No Sir, The Obambi Hope & Change era not only is OVERr.....It Never Began!

    August 13, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. Jacob

    Politics is about one representative one vote. So i don't hold a vote against a republican or a democrat. having said that, it takes leaders in government to MAKE A DEAL happen. It's about compromise and there has to be trust and respect between individuals (not parties). So let's get Hillary back in the game and let's lead this country out of the pit that it's in. Obama is great at making speeches, stating the obvious, etc. But we need someone (Hillary) who can talk with independents and republicans to strike deals.

    August 13, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Ben

    During the campaign in 2007-08 President Obama said he would change the tone in Washington. He's changing the tone alright...making it more toxic with the name calling and blame shifting.
    It would be a breath of fresh air if he would stop blaming everyone and everythinng else for the failure of his policies and leadership and taking a little responsibility. I recall him saying in 2010 "the buck stops with him.
    At some point he needs to step to the plate, accept some responsibility, and stop this notion of "Leading from behind." You ARE the president...act like not reverting to your days as a Community Organizer.

    August 13, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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