Obama phones supporters to defend GOP deal
December 8th, 2010
07:50 PM ET

Obama phones supporters to defend GOP deal

WASHINGTON (CNN) -With anger mounting from liberals over his compromise on extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, President Obama joined a phone call with progressive activists Tuesday evening, and said he was "absolutely convinced" he got the best possible deal.

"We put up the best possible fight under the circumstances," the president said on a phone call arranged by 'Organizing for America,' the organization behind his presidential campaign that is now part of the DNC.

"The harm to American families and our economy in the interim would have been too great," he said if Republicans had led a filibuster in the Senate.  "The middle class tax cuts that were put in place in the last decade, as well as the tax cuts I put in place after I took office would have expired, and that would have cost the average family three thousand dollars, and it would have cost our economy nearly a million jobs."

"Even though I don't think the other side's position was reasonable, the fact is that without an agreement with them, we would not be able to keep this recovery going, and we would have hurt millions of people," he said.

But in a nod to his audience, Obama said as a result of the concessions he secured from Republicans, the deal included many of the same progressive policies he had championed for years such as an extension of unemployment benefits, and extending tax cuts for the working poor, families with children, as well as college students.

Looking ahead to what is sure to be a mammoth fight over tax policy the next two years, Obama asked everyone listening to enlist their friends and neighbors to go "right back at Republicans and show why the things they wanted in this compromise don't make sense."

DNC Chairman, and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine introduced the president on the call.


Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts

soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. daphnerp

    I am so disappointed with President Obama's decision to capitulate to the wealthiest Americans. Remember these people are the people who spend a couple of million dollars on a birthday party for the CEO's wife and bill it to the company. Sure tax cuts remain in effect for the middle and lower classes. But these are the same people who have lost jobs or who make minimum wage (a wage that would never sustain a single person). Then to add to this the social security taxes will be cut 2% for some specified time. Okay, who has not heard that there are issues with the solvency of social security and the threat of raising the retirement age to 70? You know what? I have been planning for retirement for the past 40+ years...I have paid into the system. I have goals for my retirement (aren't we all encouraged to have goals). I am quite truthfully on what I hope will be my last 4 years till retirement. I have planned for this...where is the justice of it all if I am required to work another 6-8 years? President Obama and all those who support his compromise with the Republicans, I call upon you to come to some sort of reason. The Republicans can be dealt with...they are sour people and US citizens know this.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:03 am |
  2. Amy from Seattle

    Obama sold out his base to the highest bidder i.e. the GOP. Obama has betrayed those who voted him into office and sucked up to those who will not vote for him ever. He did not dance with those who brung him to the dance and now he is in grave danger of being a one term failed president. Shame on him. I for one will never vote for him again, nor will I vote for any republican.

    December 9, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  3. ej in tacoma

    It sounds like we are in for a long haul with these unreasonable Republicans. We all know they only want to see Obama fail and step on the backs of hard working middle class just so the big corporations will not have to pay a single cent in taxes.That's the way it was during the Bush years and the way it will be again as soon as they regain the House in January. They have no intention of seeing Obama achieve any kind of victory so long as they have their pockets lined with ill gotten tax money. What does it matter if the poor have to pay more taxes while the rich live in ivory towers looking down their noses.
    It seems that this is an never ending conundrum politicians seem to use this and other issues to keep the poor very poor and the middle class working like slaves so the wealthy can get a tax break.
    This is killing me!
    E.J. in Tacoma

    December 9, 2010 at 1:53 am |
  4. KatR

    President Obama is smarter than the GOP. They think the election was a message to Congress that the majority of We The People support the GOP ideology. Only 37% of the electorate voted in the last election. That's a majority???? I'm not fond of the deal the President made but can see that via that deal he's set the stage to give the GOP just enough rope to hang themselves. The GOP now has two years to prove to voters that their governing ideology is best for America's future or the noose tightens and We The People will vote their ideology into the dustbin of history.

    December 9, 2010 at 7:28 am |
  5. John

    I strongly support Obama in everything he is trying to do. The far right is a danger to the well being of America and needs to be exposed for what it is. I know what these kind of people are like having spent several years around them at USC.

    December 9, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  6. King

    This is the right thing tomdo

    December 9, 2010 at 8:00 am |
  7. Baby Boomer

    I get it. While I'm not on unemployment at the moment, because my employer participates in offshoring jobs, the person needing those benefits could be me at anytime. We Dems didn't get out an vote in the midterms so we lost the House and the super majority in the Senate. I know everyone wants to blame the President for that too but we have to own this one ourselves. So like it or not, (Keith Olbermann), he will have to work with the Republicans in congress. I don't expect white Americans to understand much about compromise given the fact that so many have had unearned privileges most of their lives, but President Obama understands that compromise sometimes bets gridlock. He sighted social security, medicare and other programs that started out small but grew into something much larger and more beneficial over time. Just because White Americans are used to getting what they want RIGHT NOW doesn't mean what he's done on the tax/unemployment issue isn't valid or worthwhile. Just ask the folks who's unemployment benefits will be extended. BTW, eventhough unemployment in the AA communitiy is over 16%, the majority of people on unemployment are still White Americans. What a bunch of whinners...

    December 9, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  8. Publius 13

    For the next two years, middle class federal civil servants will be asked to forego any salary adjustment, whether or not called for by statute or economic conditions. This, we are told, will save $2 billion. At the same time, we are giving a tax break worth $700 billion to the richest of the rich. Something isn't right here.

    December 9, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  9. Louisiana Man

    Pres Obama-they will use your own actions against you. They will accuse you of bloating the budget while simultaneously high fiving each other for appeasing their rich buddies and applauding themselves for a a job 'well done'.

    And as unbelievable as is may sound, those being shafted by this 'net giveaway' will continue to praise their leaderships and adorn them as heroes.

    But some of us still have common sense and loftier cerberal flux and will expose and denounce this charade for the folly it is and will eventually prevail.

    December 9, 2010 at 9:36 am |
  10. Sherri WW

    I AM A BIG SUPPORTER OF PRES OBAMA AND I WAS MAD AT HIM AT 1ST. NOW NOT SO MUCH: BY READING AN STUDYING IT AII THE LAST 2 DAYS/and I NEVER watch TV for my news: I DID WANT HIM TO FIGHT THOSE RICH LOVING GOP BUT TO WHAT END: SURE I HATE TCUTS AN ESTATE TAX GIVEAWAYS TO ANY 1 MAKING OVER A MILLION DOLLARS A YR BUT: I SURE DONT WANT CHILDREN NOT TO HV FOOD/HOME/HEAT:AND A PRESENT AT CHRISTMAS FOR EACH CHILD//:THESE THINGS DO /NOT/ CONCERN GOP NOT 1 BIT:SO: WHO DO WE WANT RUNNING AMERICA: A MAN WHO CARES WE EAT OR PEOPLE WHO ACT LIKE TERRORISTS TO EVERY1 BUT THEIR RICH BACKERS:BECAUSE RICH WILL BE RICH NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO REST OF US// I HAVE DECIDED I AND MY FAMILY WANT THE GUY THAT CARES IF WE LIVE OR DIE//and 4 the record:We are not rich at all but we all have jobs an are ok SO: I AS THE PRESIDENT AM CONCERNED 4 OTHERS/:A CONCEPT UNKNOWN TO GOP: I AN MY FAMILY HAVE YR BACK MR PRESIDENT/NOW AND IN 2012

    December 9, 2010 at 9:49 am |
  11. jpmichigan

    I hope this bill doesn't pass, so the Republicans (conservatives) come back in January to resubmit the renewal of Bush tax cuts and other tax cuts, without the unemployment package, let the Democrats use the remainder of the money in the stimulus package(which is already counted in the national debit) to pay for the unemployed.

    December 9, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  12. Success

    that serves all those democrats right, they folded thier arms and refused to cast thier votes. now they will witness first hand the consequences of allowing special interests in washington.

    December 9, 2010 at 10:13 am |
  13. Kenny

    President Obama can talk until he is blue in the face from now until November of 2012 and possibly win back many of his lost supporters, however, as the CEO of my 1 vote, I can assure him that it will not be one of them. I voted for "Candidate Obama" but somewhere between election night and 20 January, 2009 he morphed into a Jelly Fish. He is hellbent on getting support from the Republicans and the only thing they will work with him on is his reelection defeat. They have said it and demostrated it and yet this man refuses to see, hear or accept it and until he realizes this, the only thing he will ever be to the Republican Party is their punching bag and a National Jelly Fish. On election day 2012, given the choice between President Obama and the Republican Candidate I will cast my vote as a write in for Dudley Doright as at present I consider him to be a better leader. Oh that's right, Dudley is Canadian so I will have to write in my number 2 choice, Elmer Fudd. At least he is smarter than the Sarah Palins and John McCains of the Republican party.

    December 9, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  14. Four and The Door

    President Obama ...said he was "absolutely convinced" he got the best possible deal.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Even better than that, the Republicans saved him from making the serious mistake of raising tax rates at the worst possible time and having to deal with even sharper continuing rising unemployment numbers. He is doing a lousy job of selling his decision and he may have better results by taking credit for what will probably turn out to be one of his best decisions in office.

    December 9, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  15. mesa mick

    That 9:36AM post by the "Louisian Man" from the Krackerville Parish in LA is a prime example of the convoluted spin, twisted mental gymnastics and racist tinged thought processes these rabid, bat$#!t crazy right-wing teatards, bible bangers and gun toters will go thru to make anything Pres. Obama does, says or even thinks about the primary cause for the decline of the republic.

    What never fails to impress me most about these "good conservative chrizzjuns" is that they have boat loads of so called "criticism" of anything the progressives and those genuinely concerned for the plight of the working and middle classes in this country but never, never ever, do they offer a substantive, reasoned alternative course of action...And defeating Pres. Obama in 2012 or tax cuts for the top 2%ers ain't a "plan" either.

    Un-American fools and idiots all...

    December 9, 2010 at 11:04 am |
  16. Emile Zola

    How can anybody defend the addition of 700 billion to the deficit when we are as broke as any nation could be by giving it to billionaires, millionaires? Have we forgot, as a nation, Einstein's definition of madness? Or could it be that now trying and trying again the same failed policies for ten years sudenly some one expects to hit the jackpot? Our money might look like monopoly money, but I'm telling you it's not. Many economical experts have said it over and over, to keep with Einstein's statement, that giving to the rich will not do any for jobs, so why give more. Congress already receives millions from the rich, but they, the billionaires, also have a maximum and that maximum has been reached. Don't we have any sane congressmen any more? And how can anybody defend the position that tea partiers, republicans care for the deficit when they are mortaging future generations' future by forcing them to pay for something that had nothing to do with it. Why is it always that tea partiers, republicans can contradict themselves and pay no political price? It sounds to me that racism is the motor driving Ms America to ruin and the blind sheep don't see the abyss ahead just because we have a black president without recognizing that Obama and Bush are one and the same; ths first one a tad more tanner and more, also a tad, intelligent. A virgin can't clim to be a virgin after a night, decade of sex orgies.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:06 am |
    • Chas in Iowa

      When congress voted down a tax cut extension for anyone making a up to a cool million it became obvious we were no longer talking about protecting small business. We are protecting the strangle hold of the filthy rich on out political system.

      December 9, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • Four and The Door

      Many economical experts have said it over and over, to keep with Einstein's statement, that giving to the rich will not do any for jobs, so why give more.
      ________________________________________________________________________________________________
      I will put it as bluntly as possible here. I don't believe you. This is incorrect.

      December 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  17. Emile Zola

    Ooops, forgotten....

    December 9, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  18. Chas in Iowa

    "We put up the best possible fight under the circumstances," the president said
    Actually the president put up no fight at all. He didn't even consult with his party leaders before selling out to the GOP.
    Obama has been accused of have no balls,....he also has no backbone.
    Throw Obama under the bus and vote no on the tax cuts.

    December 9, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  19. Louisiana Man

    @mesa mink–of Cerebral Void, USA

    You or either an illiterate and or idoit and or THINK of yourself a quite clever that you are pulling my strings.
    To set the record straight-I am NOT a bible thumping, gun toting, crazy right winged teatard racist.

    I support Obama but think he panders, licks and kisses up- and caved in across the aisle.

    All the concessions were his and naught from the adversarial gems of the GOP.
    They have never acquiesced an iota and this act of losing a backbone to these hoodlums will come back to haunt him.

    December 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
  20. LIZ CARTER in GEORGIA

    @mesa mick; you hit the nail dead on the head! I agree 100% with you! Did you read his comment? He calls you illiterate, and idiot, huh? LOL!! I'm just sayin'! Oh, and I say you should be thinking of yourself as 'OUITE CLEVER', if you don't, ok?

    December 14, 2010 at 11:35 am |