Obama warns he's got 'naughty and nice list'
November 30th, 2012
01:25 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama warns he's got 'naughty and nice list'

Hatfield, Pennsylvania (CNN) - A small town, an energetic crowd, and a bustling factory backdrop. President Barack Obama's remarks in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, on Friday may have some Americans wondering if the president was back on the campaign trail. In a way, he is.

The president traveled to Pennsylvania for a campaign-style event, where he toured a local factory and delivered remarks on the looming fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in at the beginning of the year if Congress and the White House fail to reach a deficit-reduction deal.

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"I've been keeping my own naughty and nice list for Washington," the president said after a tour of the The Rodon Group manufacturing facility, which produces more than 95% of the parts for K'NEX Brands toys. "So you should keep your eye on who gets K'NEX this year. There are going to be some members of Congress who get them and some who don't."

The event, intended to mobilize support for the president's proposed solutions to the fiscal cliff, comes as Republicans on Capitol Hill insist that recent negotiations with the White House have been unproductive.

Earlier Friday morning, House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy released a video featuring a small business in nearby Collegeville, Pennsylvania, whose owner, Jerry Gorski, opposes the tax increases being pushed by Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill. They propose raising rates on families making more than $250,000 in addition to closing loopholes, limiting deductions and increasing taxes on capital gains and dividends.

Republicans, however, staunchly oppose a raise in tax rates.

But the president remained undeterred in his speech Friday, telling the crowd, "Our long term goal is to get our long term deficit under control in a way that is balanced and is fair. That would be good for businesses, for our economy, for future generations. And I believe both parties can and will work together in the coming weeks to get that done."

In recent days Republicans have expressed dismay over the $1.6 trillion in revenue the president has put forward as part of a possible agreement - a higher amount they say they expected.

While Obama did not mention any specifics Friday, he did hint that the deal would not be easily agreed upon, saying "In Washington nothing is easy so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations. And all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen."

And just in case those attending the event missed the subtle holiday-themed deadline of the fiscal negotiations, the president was happy to remind them, saying "If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on January first…That's a Scrooge Christmas."

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. rs

    notbuyingthe hype-
    You're right of course real racism would be something really ugly- like questioning whether or not the President was born here, or parading around black face signs at TEA Party rallies- OOOops!

    November 30, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. rs

    Seen This Before-
    968 lies during public events during the campaign- THAT'S Mr. Romney's legacy. I think you got your parties confused.

    November 30, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. northwings

    Obama really missed his calling .....would be much more effective on the Improv stage as he is a comedian extraordinaire!
    SO very funny ... his naughty and nice list...now he thinks he's Santa Claus. What next?

    November 30, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Monomachos

    Dear Mr. President,
    The election is over – you can stop campaigning. You won, but so did a majority of Republicans in the House. You need to get back to Washington and start negotiating. You wanted the job – now do it!

    November 30, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. rs

    Amen to that. Real quality education for children of all backgrounds; healthcare costs wouldn't cripple people economically; old folks retiring in dignity and security.
    The sad thing is that it could all be done and no one (not even the rich) would be hurt by it. Too bad the GOP just doesn't have that vision or care for real people.

    November 30, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. Seth


    Bush tax cuts will expire at the end of the year. The GOP cannot do anything to stop it. GOP are toast and they know it....
    Your absolutely right. As part of the class war-fare crowd you can revel in it but its going to hurt the needy more than anyone else. A compromise would be best for the country as a whole but with Obama's tendency to campaign and speechify rather than lead we are almost to your promise land.

    November 30, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Lord Abbett

    Campaigning is over Mr. President: Time to actually do some work and the work is in D.C. – not in a toy factory. Mr. President you have a wonderful opportunity to be a leader and build bi-partisan consensus or you can prove decisive and deliver another 4 years of impotency.

    November 30, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. luckjoe

    Obama simply wants to further divide America. He views the enemy as people who bought into, "The American Dream"
    and were successful. The American Dream was education, hard work, build personal wealth, support your family and pay your taxes along the way. And now this group of people are the bad guys. He prefers a population that is dependent on the government and adoring of him. Sadly, Obama was re-elected on a platform of bail outs and benefits and is the new America.

    November 30, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. KRhodes

    Interesting no one is saying anything about the president wanting control over the debt ceiling. He wants a blank check to do as he wishes but as usual...cnn does not tell the whole story.

    November 30, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "to not humiliate and antagonize the other party."

    Obama's not doing anything to humiliate or antagonize the GOP/Teatrolls....other than being a Dem, the POTUS, black and right all at the same time.

    He's leaving the uhmiliating and antagonizing to people like me /wink wink

    November 30, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. james

    This is a pathetic article. This is the most un-presidential president in history. Small ideas coupled with stupid childish talk. But I guess he's just speaking to his audience.

    November 30, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  12. KRhodes


    "Could you imagine if the Republicans worked for the poor the way they worked for the rich...what a wonderful world this would be"

    Yeah...the democrats love the poor so much they are trying to make as many as they can. Sooner or later the Obama followers are going to get a dose of reality...you know...that thing that shows liberalism to be false.

    November 30, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Coal to the 2% Mr. President.

    November 30, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. invisleg

    notbuyingthe hype

    The word rascist is used incorrectly yet again by those on the left in their feeble attempt to limit reasonable criticism of the president and democrats. If anything it would be bigoted or prejudiced; but I digress. Catch any themes since obi on the phony became President? Any criticism is racist, republicans use "code" words like Chicago or inner city. Really? You want to see bigots and hypocrites look no further than those throwing stones. If a minority of ANY kind belongs to the right they are ridiculed marginalized and dismissed out of hand as a "token" Wake up people its all misdirection and illusions

    November 30, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |

    @notbuyingthe hype

    The word racist has been used loosely for many years now. While attending 'Diversity' Training for Domestic Violence in California, the instructor(used loosely) accused white folk of being racist based on unwanted oil stains on their driveway and black scuffs on their white shoes. The students walked out and the class was shut down. Leave it to the racist to pull the race card to justify anything and everything that is not working in their own personal life. Thank goodness I am no longer a resident of California.

    November 30, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Bill Sanford

    How do you spell... T H U G ? Chicago style?

    America has fallen so low... I hope we can get back up when these bad days are over and we have a person of integrity, patriotism, and honesty in the White House.

    November 30, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  16. GaryB

    The problem is that Republicans only believe a negotiation is successful if they get 100% of what they want. In 2003 thrrough early 2007, when they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency, they basically forgot how to compromise (they also apparently forgot how to balance a budget best on the huge amount of debt they generated during that time).

    November 30, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  17. MRA

    Please someone remind our President that campaigning is over and now it's time to govern. Good governing is to get things done for the betterment of it's citizens. People are tired of typical Washington rotten politics.

    November 30, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. KRhodes

    What exactly is this fool getting by raising taxes? You would think he would be interested in creating jobs other than stealing from those who work for a living. I cannot believe people were stupid enough to elect this guy running around saying look at me look at me instead of worrying about getting jobs. At least Romney would have tried...this joker is just making fools of us.

    November 30, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. eleanor

    Cuts have already been made. The social security increase is zilch for 2013,, but the increase in the Medicare deduction uses that all up, not to mention the 7% increase in the cost of Medicare Advantage plans. The health insurance companies are not feeling any pain but they want a voucher system so they can really clean up. Prescription drug costs are rising so that many more people will fall into the donut hole. Yet nothing touces the 1%. They have Congress bought and paid for.

    November 30, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. matt

    more people voted for dems in the house then republicans, 500000 more. if you combine all house races. a little tidbit for all you republicans out there. the district drawings just favor republicans. they can when 4 districts by 5 percent, and lose 3 by 20, so they come out ahead.

    November 30, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. CBR

    Right now this country needs to get out of this economic downturn. ALL of us need to be willing to give up a little to bring down the debt. The taxes that we will pay will not create a hardship for those of us in the 2%. We will be helping our friends and neighbors who cannot carry the whole burden. The middle class is falling apart and we must not let that happen.

    Stop playing the blame game. Stop trying to put total blame on the President or anyone else. All of us played some role in bringing about this downturn. We bought property we could not afford, we bought 2 or 3 cars, we bought furnishings for our homes, we took vacations to warmer climates in the winter and cruises and more the rest of the year. We used our credit cards and then we were expected to pay for all of this. Some of us could not and thus trouble began.

    People lost jobs, they were wiped out financially by medical bills, they were in debt over the heads, etc. Can we all just get our representatives and senators to go to the table and hammer out an agreement so we can move ahead.

    November 30, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  22. Mike in SA

    The "naughty" and "nice" list is not surprising for this guy. Obama's been spending all his time dividing Americans since before his first day in office. He's just doubling down now.

    November 30, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  23. independent

    The President isn't running again and he is very popular with Democrats and Independents. It is time for him to pick which Congressmen and Senators he is going to campaign for, re against; start early and go all out.

    November 30, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  24. Randy

    Obama wants use to do his job. Get back to Washington, and no Christmas vacation for anybody. Get a dictionary and look up the meaning of compromise and negations. Swallow your pride, and self centerdness and get to work.

    December 1, 2012 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  25. Disgusted

    Big deal. I have a "works" and "does nothing but party and travel to photo ops" list. Guess which one Obama is at the top of. Certainly isn't the "works" list.

    December 1, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
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