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. T.Storm

    SIMPLE: Naughty list: Anyone who disagrees with him & will not follow him blindly. Nice List: Anyone who worships him.... Not rocket science.

    December 1, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. Roy Rathbun

    It not President Obama holding up the fiscal cliff solution, its the millionair congressmen on capital hill that are dragging, I think we should replace all those rich millionionairs with ordinary people like myself, who live paycheck to paycheck. We would get something done, close the loop holes in the tax codes, and vote to increase tax's on the rich. No one really thinks those millionaire congressmen are really going to vote for themselfs to pay more taxes now do we??? Vote any and all that done really vote to fix the problem out, and let real people take it over.

    December 1, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  3. GI Joe

    I never knew the American Dream included welfare for the wealthy in the form of subsidies, tax loopholes, and all the other stuff they vote for themselves.

    December 1, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  4. gman

    Smacks of McCarthyism

    December 1, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  5. Penobscot

    First he is Jesus, now he's Santa.

    Santa...loves to give free gifts to people.

    December 1, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  6. Wes

    My income is very low, I don't drive a car and rarely leave home due to paralysis and multiple strokes, and I live in constant pain. I am perpetually indebted to medical bills that absorb nearly all of my SSDI and the grim reaper is on prozac as he leaves each night empty handed. I have never celebrated Christmas (or any other holiday) as I have no family or friends. I suppose I am doing much better than the nail-biting population that is attached to inanimate materialism which chains them to the ball of capitalism. I hope that America fairs better in the future and that these economic woes pass painlessly. My troubles are far less worrisome than most others, as mine are just physical and will end soon. I feel somewhat blessed not chasing that brass ring any longer. My only goal is just trying to get past the second volume of Feynman's lecture series. Happiness is a peaceful mind. I do hope that our nation's suffering does not imperil its future and people will find joy again.

    December 1, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. JacinJax

    For those of you who are saying that the President isn't negotiating you should remember that he gave in the Republicans last time. He WON the election telling the American people that this was EXACTLY what he was going to do. So get over it! You lost. Quit acting like a two year old having a tantrum. There are long-term problems to be negotiated but on this issue the American people have spoken.

    December 1, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. JacinJax


    He's not campaigning. He's telling the American people that the Republicans still aren't listening to them. He doesn't need to negotiate raising taxes and cutting loopholes for the rich. America re-elected him on that platform. It's the Republicans who need to listen and accept that. And while the Republicans still hold a majority in the house–it's a smaller one and they lost seats in the Senate. What has to happen for them to quit being cry babies?

    December 1, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. JacinJax

    @ James
    "But I guess he's just speaking to his audience" Yes he is and his audience is the American people who re-elected him. Too bad the Republicans don't think the American people are their audience because when we fall off the cliff they will be the ones that get blamed...good luck in 2014.

    December 1, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Anonymous

    This is definitly not what we voted for, a campainer-in-cheif. We thoght that , now just maybe, Obama would have learn from the last 4 years, the importance of neogociations and compromise, for the betterment of the American people. Raising the rate /percentage wealthy individuals earn will not sustain this deficit/or create jobs. Leave the rate the same, but take away deductions , this is were the rich cut their tax percentage paid. Obama is still, if not more, egotisical and uses his idology to so cal govern. Even Robin Hood would laugh, for the rich still benefit and poor/middle class are poorer. This President only goal is to spend more, through taxation, and not cut the deficit leave it for others. He is continuing the blame game, while he takes no iinitative to try , to be bipartisian.

    December 1, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Yolie Scott

    Why is it always President Obama's fault – the people spoke when they reelected him. The Republicans are still playing their games and the people who believe the Republicans, live in a fantasy world. The people keep saying they don't want their children to suffer, give me a break – they only care about their own personal money accounts. I am on SS and can only live on what I bring in, but I have no one to blame for my situation, I put myself in this situation. But the people believe they can go out and do what they want and then when they run out of money, etc. they blame President Obama. Get real people, you make your future not the President.

    December 1, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Honestly?

    The president can 'campaign' (talk to the people) all he wants. Why do people think that once you win an election you must stop talking to the people who voted for you or the other man/woman? They're given the job of governing by us for us. I'm of the mind that they better continue to talk to us. You can call it campaigning if you want. He's doing what he should be doing.

    That's the problem w/ republicans. They work for those @ the top and probably make/receive personal phone calls. And to hell w/ the ones in the middle and the bottom. They got the votes, they no longer have to speak to us.

    December 1, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. oldvet10

    This whole thing reminds me of a playground in a Kindergarden, stop the silly stuff and get back to taking care of our country.

    December 1, 2012 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. oldvet10

    The only people that lost in the last election was the American working population.

    December 1, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. Hillcrester

    Obama will "peel off" enough House GOP votes, Biohner with him or not won't matter, to get something close to the deal he wants. Politicians can count votes.

    December 1, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. SFRich

    Eric Kantor says that the proposal Obama put forth on avoiding the fiscal cliff "... wasn't serious." While the GOP's proposal is the same that they had last year. Let the fat cats continue to enjoy all the Bush era tax breaks and asking seniors to stomach cuts to their retirement and medical.

    WAKE UP! The election is over, and the people chose Obama's direction.

    December 1, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. David

    The repubs either need to give suggestions on cuts (that doesn't involve the voucherization of Medicare) or just shutup and back the President. Your complaining is useless if you don't actually provide ideas.

    December 1, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. artraveler

    The president ought to calculate how many Ohioans would actuially be impacted by the $250 K limit (everyone gets a tax cut up to that value) and how many fall outside the 2% who are about to have their taxes go up $2200 per family and let the people in Boehrner's district know how many are going to get a tax increase because Orangeman won't get off his ass and stand up to Grover. The rich will still 10-2,9000,000 times more money left than what the others are trying to live on.

    December 1, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. Steve in OH

    Is it all a joke to the man? Going to a toy factory and patronizing us with a naughty-and-ncie list. Dumb-downed American politics keeps sinking lower, and lower. We are all tortured via the long campaign, now this....

    December 1, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. ONONO

    Obama is doing the P.R jobs, encourage people spending as much as he spend from US treasury and government credit cards. In my opinion, svae some bucks from this Xmas for the upcomin dragged/recession days.

    December 1, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Gremlin

    Communist have the elistists. I am not on his list.

    December 1, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Name Joan Hopkins

    The American people have spoken...the Repuplicans just don't get it. They really need to re-evaluate their party platform. They don't hear/listen to the American middle class...just sayin'

    December 1, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Amphiox

    In the modern world we have these neat gizmos called phones, and this magical set-up called teleconferencing. It lets you talk to people and negotiate with people even when the two of you are not in the same room.

    Strangely, the republicans seem not realize that these things exist.

    December 1, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  24. DrPiz

    Republicans need to give Obama everything he wants on his list. If they do that he we will go over the cliff and people will finalize realize he had no plan. If the republicans continue to fight and reject his offer they are playing right into his hands. Obama will then raise taxes on everyone (his plan all along) however he can blame the Republicans. The only credit I give Obama is he know how to minipulate the system that always makes him and his party the good guys. Just give him everything he wants for Christmas and lets really lets see if his plan will work. If his plan works I will be the first to give him all the credit.

    December 1, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Republicans didn't want to do their job last year so a sequestor was created. NOW they have caused themselves even MORE pain. Fire all the republicans. We seem to be paying them over $170,000 per year to work about 6 days a month and getting nothing done. What a savings that would be.

    December 1, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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