Obama, the GOP and the economic blame game
June 8th, 2012
02:50 PM ET

Obama, the GOP and the economic blame game

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Friday that partisan gridlock has helped hobble economic growth and has brought legislative business to a crawl, and he put the blame squarely on an uncooperative Congress.

"If Congress decides, despite all that, that they aren't going to do anything about this simply because it's an election year, then they should explain to the American people why," he said in an appearance in the White House briefing room.

"There's gonna be plenty of time to debate our respective plans for the future. That's a debate I'm eager to have. But right now, people in this town should be focused on doing everything we can to keep our recovery going and keeping our country strong, and that requires some action on the part of Congress."

Republican congressional leadership blasted right back, accusing the president of finger-pointing when it comes to the nation's economic woes.


Topics: Congress • President Obama

soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. tee27

    Hmm ! hot news ! House GOP Measure To Shield Congressional Office Budgets From Cuts Passes Vote, Republicans controlling the House have been trying to cut domestic agency budgets by about 5 percent. But when it came to their own staff, travel and office expenses, GOP leaders opted to freeze their $574 million budget after two years of cuts.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
  2. jean2009

    Rethugliklans have held the recovery back for the last 3 years.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Steveo

      What, no liberal citations? What is the world coming to?

      June 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
      • tee27

        In March, the House passed a budget plan to force non-defense cuts of $27 billion below levels agreed to in a budget and debt pact forged by President Barack Obama and Speaker. Since then, spending bills have generally shielded some Cabinet departments – like Justice, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security – from the cuts, while the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Interior will bear a much larger share.

        In addition to cuts to day-to-day agency operating budgets, Republicans last month passed legislation cutting food stamps, pension benefits for federal workers, health care and social services programs like Meals on Wheels for the elderly

        June 8, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
      • jean2009


        June 12, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Jean 2 of the last three years the democrat controlle congress and the white house... Howdid republicans have any say in it?

      June 8, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • Michael

        Can you say 'filibuster"? The biggest mistake Obama and the Democratic party made was to be naive to believe the GOP actually would compromise when they first took power. Personally, I'd advise Obama to quit being nice and tell these GOP wackos to go shove it. Otherwise, the country will be back at war and deeper in debt after their austerity plans.

        June 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • AJ pompano

        Congress has two houses you know.

        June 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • jean2009

        Bill would like to overlook the fact that Can'ter, Ryan, and Bonehead are the roadblocks to progress.

        June 12, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • Bill in STL

        note to all you can change the rules .. just as you have done in the past.... and as the republicans have... Not overlooking anything here jean..... just stating the facts... it seems that the 110th congress had the record for fillibusters.... but wait that was before the current president took office and while it is true that the 11th neared the record it did not pass it.... prior to the 110th congress the filibuster was a 50/50 split between parties and ws obviously used as a tool by the minority party.... I wonder why? Does not seem to matter what party...... just using the tools... Oh and the rule changes .... democrats started that during Clintons term... seems like politics as usual to me... BTW the fillibusters were directed at appointments.... not laws for the most part

        June 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • jean2009

      I love this quote from the guardian.
      "If the rich really wish to create a better world, they can sign another pledge: to pay their taxes on time and in full; to stop lobbying against taxation and regulation; to avoid creating monopolies; to give their employees better wages, pensions, job protection and working conditions; to make goods and use production methods that don't kill or maim or damage the environment or make people ill. When they put their names to that, there will be occasion not just for applause but for street parties."

      June 12, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  3. jerry

    I thought the president of the US is supposed to pull people together for the good of the country to get things done, build consensus if you will...so does this mean obama has failed? People now understand obama is divisive and arrogant and perhaps anti-American in his ideology, certainly not American presidential material. We need real leadership for the good of our country.

    June 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Bill in STL

      Jerry that is what a leader does ... leads peope to a better solutions... A community organizer on the other hand pits one faction against another to achieve personal goals.....

      June 8, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • DEcember 2012


      June 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
      • cloudjumper

        You need to be saying Danke, Danke, Danke Republicans or you'd be standing in the food line about now, if the government said you could eat today.

        June 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • jean2009

        Read it and learn.

        June 12, 2012 at 10:30 am |
      • Dhara

        While I think Palin did fine in the context of the inetrview I believe those with doubts of Palin (like me) needed much more than that.While both Obama and Palin are inexperienced at least Obama has thought a lot about these issues. It's clear Palin hasn't. While I was hoping McCain would pick Palin prior to his actually doing so the stuff that has come out since has been pretty disheartening. I'm frankly surprised that she doesn't know that much on these issues. What scares me is that the person she reminds me the most of in all this is George Bush.Don't get me wrong. Palin is brilliant for McCain. And the media and Obama camp keep doing things that just turn people off. (The Atlantic cover photo scandal being the latest) The fact that ABC edited it so unfairly makes them look bad and makes Palin look sympathetic. Far from making her unappealing it makes her more appealing. That's because most people probably aren't going to go look at the transcript for the full inetrview. So the fact ABC spun it makes it that much more easy for the McCain handlers to spin it.But once we go beyond the spin by the press and both political camps one has to ask. Is she informed enough to take the job? It's not just about experience but having some questions about the prime issues of the day. I think Obama, especially in foreign policy is wrong. (Although I'm not happy with McCain there either) But at least they've thought about it and worry about it. How with two wars and a recent terrorist bombing a political leader can be so naive is frankly scary. (I know most are, but most aren't asking for my vote)

        July 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  4. Name*Liz Carter

    jerry and Bill in STL, he's leading.. You and your ILK just don't plan on giving him the respect, that we've given every one of the others, as 'Leader of The so-called 'Free World!! You all made up in your racist minds on day one that he was NOT your President and you were going to show him JUST how much he wasn't YOUR President!! You are Evil and you will be answering to the Almighty for your deviousness!! Yet you do what RethugliKKKlans do everyday, flip-the-script, and call him 'divisive', and arrogant!! You two fit those decriptions more than he does!! All educated black men are 'arrogant', 'uppity' and 'SNOBS' as far as 'supremacists' go!! We know you hate them with a hot heat!! An Educated Black Man is the white man's Enemy!! President Obama has tried his best to bend, stretch, bow, and beg those evil old 'white men' of the Rethuglican Party, and all he's ever gotten was a promise from them that he'd be a 'one term President'!! Just so you all know, enough is enough, and when he's re-elected by the true, unbiased, intellect in America; the same element of Americans of people who put him in office the first time,...he's still not going to stoop down and kiss y'alls a**es, OK?? He's waaaaay better than that!! Jealous, sabatoging old trolls!! Blaming him, picking-apart, crytiquing every thought, word and deed, 'trolling' to find some way to dismantle any notion that something just may have been a good idea, or good for the nation!! It's a modern-day 'lynching' of a black man in America!! You're trying to send the message to any other minority that they shouldn't even try this again, because if they do, this is what's going to happen!! "President or not,...we're going to still make sure to 'keep them in their place"!! "This is OUR country"!! "We can't let'em start thinking they're better'en us"!! "Don't go giving him credit for nothing"! .....excerpt of the conversation between the 'Nazi'-styled White Citizens Coucil/Citizens United/GOP.

    June 9, 2012 at 2:56 am |
    • jean2009

      Meth addict right?

      June 12, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • jean2009

      Valerie Jarrett was born in Iran to American parents, she has lived in the United States from age 7. Her father James Bowman was a doctor who worked with a group of American doctors to improve the health of children, her mother Barbara Taylor Bowman was instrumental in founding the Erikson Institute.

      All you have managed to do is display how ignorant you are.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Well at last Liz has completely stated what she really thinks of people that don't think like she does.. her racial slurs and name calling go beyond the limit that any civilized person could stand. She is not censored by cnn for this act of outrage nor does she have any remorse... Tell mel liz will you seet up camps? Will you purge??? Will you be so self righteous that you can justify that. I knew that you and jean were well out there.... you have now shown the world how far. your a sad, bitter person with no hope of salvation even though you call on the Lord in this hate filled rant. Do you really think he is listening to you? Better read your bible again...

      June 12, 2012 at 11:07 pm |
  5. Name*Liz Carter

    We aren't stupid!!!...We see through this maze of BS and lies!!

    June 9, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • Bill in STL

      Yes Liz you are....

      June 12, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  6. B.

    Just take a look at some charts that show the now famous -Bikini Chart- with the numbers and trends and it is blatantly obvious what has transpired sense Obama took office. The growth came back and is still happening showing slow but continued growth with the banks, that got bailed out buy the Tax Payers, are now making record profits as is the Car Industries Obama saved.

    This was done IN Spite of the Republicans throwing everything in front of the President in an attempt to destroy his positive progress.

    Never in the history of the country has there been a more Cynical and Counterproductive Republican party as there is now!

    Throw the Bums out in November!

    June 9, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
  7. AJ pompano

    Show me ANY Republican President in the past 40 years that raised the federal debt by a lower percentage than ANY Democratic President?
    You can't so lets stop this lie.
    GW Bush raised the debt by 86%, HW Bush by 51%, Reagan by 186%
    and Obama by 41%.

    – so now we should believe Republicans are financially responsible?

    June 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • jean2009

      It may not even be 41%.
      The Senate cannot control what legislation the House produces...so Harry Reid is definitely not the king.
      We need to get off this austerity kick and put this country back on its feet. Spend on infrastructure, job training programs, education....we can't do anything as long as we don't believe in ourselves.

      June 12, 2012 at 10:55 am |
  8. cloudjumper

    yeah, it may be a debate he's ready to have but what he needs to do is to demand that Harry Reid allow just one of the more than two dozen jobs producing bills presented by the House to go to the Senate floor for debate. The fear to Reid, and Obama, is there's just to much in the bills that WILL add jobs that will get enough Democratic votes to pass. If not this, then why hasn't Reid allowed any of the House bills to be debated on the Senate floor? A fair question I ask.

    June 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • electrovibe11

      Reid doesn't decide what bills go to the floor, he's not the king of the senate.

      June 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  9. trex

    ....I DONT CARE waht fake news says, what the T/P says, what the SoH says.....................I KNOW W Bush and his administration PUT US IN THIS GIANT HOLE. Now, the t/p led gop has STONEWALLED any Obama measures to ease the country's

    June 11, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • Deni

      Eric Russell, I'm glad you like it.Geoff, the Matt Damon statement is just more raingg in impotent fury.Clark and mike d., very few presidential candidates with any resume would have done well in that interview after just 2 weeks campaigning. And few presidential candidates' first interviews are subject to such scrutiny. (Can you name the first major interview of any other presidential candidate?) There are only so many questions that one can be asked, and eventually enough of them become old hat that that interviews seem much more routine. It really doesn't have a lot to do with how much the candidate has thought about the issues. Bush, for example, gives a fine interview, but many of his opponents would be unwilling to conceded that he's thought about the issues.Austin, I'm not sure I take such a reductionist view of Palin's personality. Most politicians of any stripe want to be in charge, but most of them also love to hear themselves speak.CS Eric, as you can tell from my response to Clark, I agree with you.Tim J, I found it much more disturbing that liberal pundits and bloggers didn't seem to know that both Biden and Obama support letting Georgia into NATO. But I think that her answering every question is a matter of her not trying to finagle an answer to every question.Bill, You ask, Was this news to you? and then proceed to respond as though my answer is yes. Just to be clear: No, it wasn't new to me. Even so, Gibson isn't always boorish, so that it's worth noting when he is.You're accusation that she was evasive and dishonest is just more Palin Derangement Syndrome. And your attempts to correct her answer are even less convincing and less informed than your recent attempts to correct me.BrianJ, Palin supporters are either so blind in their support of her that they think she did wonderful, or they realized that there would be a learning curve.

      July 31, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Muhammad

      Nobody knows better than Obama the trahet Palin poses to his campaign. Every time anyone questions her inexperience it will beg the comparison to Obama—and Obama loses the comparison. Tonight Barack Obama goes to bed realizing for the first time that he could actually lose this thing.God, this must be what '88 would have felt like if Bush Sr. had chosen Colin Powell instead of Quayle. I'm utterly blown away that McCain had the nuts to do this. I mean does anyone remember who Obama picked? Does anyone remember the Democratic convention? Choo-choo! Look out Barry! Look out Joe! Here comes the Authenticity Train, and your antlers are stuck in the cowcatcher!Woot!

      August 1, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
  10. clarke

    Everyone is to blame for this, both parties.

    June 11, 2012 at 6:11 am |
    • electrovibe11

      Disagree, democrats have shown willingness to compromise while Republicans have not. Period. Even when the democrats want to cut taxes the first thing the Republicans say is 'what's in it for us' as if that isn't want they want. Democrats had a bill that was 4:1 cuts to tax increases and Republicans refused because of the taxes. In the Republican debate every candidate said they would veto a bill that was 10:1. Not one republican is willing to do anything out of line with its base and that's what is causing the division. You can't take a step right and then claim the other guy took a step left.

      June 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  11. Rae

    The President can not do much without Congress, recall equal branches of government. The blame clearly is congress! They should all forgo their paychecks until they balance the budget and work to pass legislation that will truly tackle Americas issues. Problem is the whole bunch are politicians, they are not problem solvers. Politicians job is to fight the other party, point fingers and criticize very word and idea of the other party. In the private sector they would be FIRED! Problem is our politicians are a subset of us, Americans, just read comments from any of these "news" outlets. We are more divided than we are united, my only hope is that the pendulum can only swing in one direction for so long and soon it will swing back in the direction of sanity

    June 11, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Bill in STL

      You are right .... not with the democratic controlled one the first 2 years of his term and nothing has changed after that.

      June 12, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
      • Muas

        That's really thnkiing of the highest order

        July 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
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