Obama: GOP party of ‘No, we can’t’

Aug 16th, 2010 | By politicsnews | Category: Politics

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. – President Obama, playing off the slogan of his 2008 campaign, mocked Republicans Monday as the party of “No, we can’t” and skewered Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for saying he wishes the GOP “had been able to obstruct more” of Democrats’ agenda.

“Obstruct more? Is that even possible?” Obama said with a laugh during a fundraiser for Tom Barrett, Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Wisconsin. “So apparently that’s their plan for the future: ‘No we can’t.’ Clean energy: ‘No we can’t.’ Health care: ‘No we can’t.’ Wall Street reform: ‘No we can’t.’ ”

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In an interview with the New York Times that published Sunday, McConnell said he was “amused” by Democrats’ “comments about obstructionism.”

“I wish we had been able to obstruct more,” McConnell said. “They were able to get the health care bill through. They were able to get the stimulus through. They were able to get the financial reform through. These were all major pieces of legislation, and if I would have had enough votes to stop them, I would have.”

The White House has seized on the remarks as the comment of the week, much in the way the president and his aides held up Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP during congressional hearings on the Gulf oil spill, and House Minority Leader John Boehner’s view that Democrats’ financial regulatory reform bill in response to the economic crisis was akin to using a nuclear weapon to kill an ant.

Much of Obama’s speech in Wisconsin was used to paint Republicans as hostile to change, as he continued to cast the November midterm elections as a choice between GOP policies of the past and Democrats’ policies of the future.

“The other side wants you to be afraid of the future,” Obama said. “They are offering the exact same policies that you rejected in 2006, that you rejected in 2008, because you knew they weren’t working.”

The president also briefly went on the defensive. As he blasted the Republicans for being cozy with big business at the expense of average Americans, he delivered a lengthy rejection of a label he can’t seem to shake: that he is anti-business.

“I want to be very clear here,” Obama said, “I want businesses in this country to succeed. And the vast majority of folks out here who are running a business, they are doing what’s right by their communities and their workers. And I want to do everything we can to help you grow and to prosper and to hire more employees.”

Obama then ticked off a list of reasons why he believes he is on their side.

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