Obama pushes back on criticism regarding social outreach to Congress
January 15th, 2013
06:28 AM ET

Obama pushes back on criticism regarding social outreach to Congress

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama pushed back on criticism that he has not reached out enough to members of Congress socially to help build more personal relationships.

"With respect to this 'truism' about me not socializing enough and patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me know I'm a pretty friendly guy. And I like a good party. And the truth is when I was in the Senate, I had great relationships over there, and up until that point that I became president this was not an accusation that you heard very frequently," the president said at his news conference Monday.

He said some Republicans feel that it doesn't "look real good socializing with me."

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Topics: President Obama

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    More lies

    January 15, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  2. rosemary meding

    This commentary reminds me of the old nursery rhyme we 'oldies' used to play...it was called "hi-ho –the dairy-o". A group of kids would all make a circle with whomever was picked to be the 'farmer' in the middle of the circle. Then go round and around ....singing "and the farmer takes a wife'..(wife then picked and farmer goes back into the circle)..wife then 'takes a child"...wife back in the circle..'child' stays and continues to pick various siblings or farm animals to join in and replace themselves...continues on till no one is left to be picked except the CHEESE...a very undesirable position no one wanted to pick..and the song continues as follows.."AND THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE...THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE...Hi-Ho-THE DAIRY-O..THE CHEESE STANDS ALONE".....and let's remember, folks. why it was that the 'cheese stood alone'..hmmm...makes one ponder..

    January 15, 2013 at 9:06 am |
  3. Moose

    Im agood guy and like to party ??? Just swell leadership for our youth, enjoy this you voted for it

    January 15, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • LT

      I'm enjoying every minute! Get over it..

      January 15, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Andi

      Moose and jerry: Still whining I see. Get over it! You lost and a majority of us won.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • pinochled

      Too bad for you the guy who drinks milk and wears magic underwear lost.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm |
  4. LT

    The orange guy has turn down every social/formal invitation to the White House and McConnell has refused all but one in the last four years...They even turned down an invitation to view the movie Lincoln at the White House...enough said... Remember this is a party who's game plan was obstruction. I think this criticism is wrongly placed.

    January 15, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  5. jerry

    ooooh, always smooching to the voter and lying too. Nothing that comes out of this mans mouth is truthful.

    January 15, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  6. BLKMANnAmerica

    My President is bar-none the BEST ever. WHY on earth is a 'social' repore so important, just saying, repuks in Congress wont do there jobs why should my President have to been seen a 'social' with Congressional repuks, they are just a bunch of LOOSERS who constantly play childish games. PLEASE!

    January 15, 2013 at 12:03 pm |
    • acdcguy

      Best ever? Wow...... saw a show over the weekend on dangerous cults, Jim Jones was featured, this is where people like you fall under.........

      January 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Steveo

      Both parties are guilty of not doing their jobs. The issue is we tend to excuse it more when it concerns game players from our favorite party. You don't think Dems played games when Bush was president? They did!

      January 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Kool-Aid Police

      When you say he's the "Best Ever", what standard are you using? Have you studied the other presidents? Maybe it's just me but I think handling a civil war or a world war would be quite a challenge.

      January 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Annie

      Any time I've heard our representatives state that Obama was not accessible, it was not in the context that he is not "sociable". It was, instead, that he did not make himself available to do his JOB – wouldn't meet with members of Congress if they needed to discuss the problems we face as a nation. Obama has a knack of not really answering questions.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Caramon

      Your President? I thought he was our President, the one who cares about the 100 percent. However, you have opportunity to tell us why he is the best President. Please make comparisons to Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Eisenhower just to start.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  7. NAN VET


    January 15, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  8. jean2009

    I think to be fair the problem is not all the President's but every member of Congress' fault.

    Congress is in session 3 days a week that is....when they are in session. Which is a total of 130-180 days per year. Once they reach the end of their 3 day week they hop a plane to to their home district....We have heard they don't even socialize with each other, and members of their own party.

    Most of these issues are a two way street....add to that the fact that for a Republican being seen socializing with the president can bring about the same dumping-on that Hagel is undergoing from his own party right now.

    The President has invited members of congress to the White House and many times they decline.

    January 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm |
    • Cynthia L.

      When invited members of the House of Congress do show up at White House events, the Republicans have been known to keep to themselves and not even shake the President's (who is their host) hand. The public knows it and personally, I believe this President has handled himself as a gentleman under the most disrespectful displays of immaturity this Congress has thrown at him. Congress' approval rate is in the toliet and that is one BIG reason.

      January 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • jerry

      obama froze the GOP out of health care and set the stage for the most divisive presidency in the history of America. He manipulated the GOP more than once trying to split them up...in effect stabbing Boehner in the back on the debt talks. It is a wonder any of them will be in the same room with him. Even only yesterday he went public demeaning the GOP before talks even begin...so, his waterloo is on the way.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:46 pm |
      • Cynthia L.

        There is rarely, and I mean rarely, l00% agreement between politicans of a single party. The GOP has been strangling their own on a regular basis and if you don't wear a ring in your nose attached by a ball and chain to be drag around by idiots and choose to represent the people of your state AND the nation you are elected to serve, well, it very definetly will be the 'Republican' waterloo. They eat their own. The party is in disarray. More so everyday. Maybe the younger Republicans coming up will be more sensible and sensitive to the majority of the American people in the future. But, I think that will take a complete collaspe of the entrenched stupidity, take no prisoners style of governing (cough) that the most extreme right-wing thinks is the way to do the nation's business. You jerry, are not helping your party, but a prime example why the nation picked the other guy.

        January 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
      • DEcember 2012

        The health care law was born out of conservative ideas, from the Heritage Foundation. It was based on a law in a state governed by a Republican. So when a Democrat got it passed for the whole country it suddenly became such a bad idea. Perhaps you should give some of your Republican members of Congress who voted for it some credit for actually doing so with eyes open? Try to give Republicans credit for recognizing a good thing. Just ask Jan Brewer.

        And please, Boehner's problem is some people in his own party, not Obama. Boehner stabbed himself on the foot thinking he could lead such rabble and it could not be more obvious with the failure of his Plan B.

        If you thought the President was being 'demeaning' about members of Congress who want to mess with the debt limit, I thought he didn't go far enough. Anyone who thinks it is such a good idea should be dragged kicking and screaming out of office.

        January 15, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
  9. California Consevative

    The problem with congress is the senate and Harry Reid.

    February 28, 2013 at 2:55 pm |