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December 08, 2010
Attacks From Obama As He Compares Republicans to ‘hostage takers’
Obama defends tax cut deal, compares Republicans to ‘hostage takers’
Obama held a quickly arranged press conference at the White House to defend his tax cut deal but spent most of his time attacking Republicans.
The president, in one of the most feisty and defensive public appearances of his presidency, spent as much if not more time talking about his willingness to confront an intransigent Republican opposition in the future as he did explaining and selling the tax cut plan he announced Monday evening.
Obama was equally frustrated with his own liberal base, which has clamored for him to fight Republicans rather than negotiate or compromise. But, casting himself numerous times as the protector of the American people, Obama said he had no choice.
“It’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed,” Obama said. “In this case, the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.”
Obama said he wanted to “get the American people in a safe place” by ensuring that no one’s taxes went up on January 1, and had to agree to extend the current tax rates even for high income earners to do so.
“This isn’t the politics of the moment. This has to do with, ‘What can we get done right now?’” he said, not explaining the distinction between the two. “We can’t get my preferred option through the Senate right now.”
Obama said the country agrees with him that wealthy Americans should have to pay more taxes, though polls have shown more complexity on the issue when the question is cast in light of the overall economic impact of higher tax rates next year.
“The issue is not me persuading the American people. They’re already there. The issue is how do I persuade the Republicans in the Senate?” Obama said. “I have not been able to budge them.”
Yet the taunting chorus continued from left-wing critics following the president’s performance.
“President Obama repeatedly stated that he ‘can’t persuade’ Senate Republicans to end tax cuts for the rich,” said Adam Green, the head of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee who has been a loud and growing irritant to the president.
“In addition to undercutting his ‘yes we can’ mantra, the sad reality is that President Obama never even tried to persuade Republicans to do the right thing. He telegraphed his willingness to cave from the start by solely talking about ‘compromise’ and never talking about holding Republicans accountable to their constituents if they opposed him,” Green said.
The president stiffened when asked numerous times whether he is, essentially, tough enough. He said he was “itching for a fight” with Republicans next year over the many issues they will clash on.
He also said that when the tax rates for all earners are set to go up again in two years, he will “fight” to raise them on those making more than $250,000 a year.
The martial language directed at the GOP notwithstanding, Obama reserved perhaps his harshest criticism for critics on the professional Left. He complained about the New York Times giving higher placement to the administration’s failures than its successes, and said “purists” on the Left had set unattainable standards for success.
“This is the public option debate all over again,” Obama said of leftward criticism of the tax deal. “So I pass a signature piece of legislation . . . something Democrats have been fighting for for a hundred years,” but since it lacked a “public option” it was seen by liberals and progressives as “a sign of weakness.”
“If that is the standard . . . then let’s face it, we will never get anything done,” Obama said. “Sanctimonious” progressives “will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people.”
“That can’t be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country,” Obama added, raising his voice. “Not everybody agrees with us. . . . The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across America.”
Wild Thing's comment........
Never have I heard such a diatribe from a western leader, and that's saying something. Obama continues to demean the office of the President of the United States. He appears to be in full meltdown mode.
Hostage takers? Last time I checked, he still had the house and senate. He just couldn’t get all of his rats on board this time around.
The RATS are in full melt down
Oh, the angst & gnashing of teeth.
Posted by Wild Thing at December 8, 2010 04:50 AM
What this nation needs is a President who doesn't consider the majority of its citizens as the enemy. Obama looks at Republicans and Conservatives as his enemies and needs to be defeated on all levels. Even after two years in the White House, Obama still doesn't have a clue how to govern.
Posted by: BobF at December 8, 2010 08:22 AM
Typical obama, this is still the same congress he had last year, the republicans can't hold him hostage, he still has a 100 seat majority in the house, the man is nothing but a crybaby and a cheap bullshit artist.
Posted by: Mark at December 8, 2010 02:25 PM
He only knows one track - divide. divide. divide.
Posted by: jan at December 8, 2010 04:38 PM
Bob, I agree, and I honestly don't remember ever having a president that did this kind of thing, his threats, attacks and putting the American people down all the time or at any time.
Posted by: Wild Thing at December 8, 2010 05:37 PM
Mark, your right, he knows there are enough stupid people out there that will believe his and his acting like he is not in the majority.
Posted by: Wild Thing at December 8, 2010 05:39 PM
Jan, so very true. Good to see you Jan.
Posted by: Wild Thing at December 8, 2010 05:42 PM
Thanks, Chrissie....been busy with life here...hope you all are having a wonderful December full of Christmas joy and anticipation....
Posted by: jan at December 10, 2010 07:47 AM