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Obama's Baltimore Q&A with House Republicans: the transcript

President Obama's appearance Friday before the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore was supposed to be behind closed doors, with only a pool reporter to capture their exchanges. But the House Republicans decided early Friday to invite in all reporters, and the result made for a gripping political exchange, with the Republicans posing tough questions of Obama, and the president giving as good as he got.

The Post has collected a transcript of the Q&A session, breaking each lawmaker's question and Obama's response into separate files.

Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) -- economy
Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) -- federal budget/line-item veto
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.) -- federal regulation
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah) -- Obama's promises
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) -- health care
Rep. Tom Price (Ga.) -- GOP on health care
Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.) -- House Democrats
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) -- federal budget

C-SPAN will replay the session at 8 p.m. Eastern.

By Post Editor  |  January 29, 2010; 2:24 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Primary Source  
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Next: C-SPAN to replay Obama Q & A with House Republicans


Unfortunately, I don't see the President being invited back to any more "Republican Retreats."

Any political adviser worth minimum wage can tell that this was a disaster for the Republican party, not just the House Republicans.

Allowing Obama to discredit, address, and call out every accusation, inference, and innuendo the GOP has had in it's arsenal, has really weakened the brand.

Obama basically went (with no teleprompter - not even NOTES) and out thunk 141 Republican Representatives. They, on the other hand, had to read their questions to him off of pieces of paper, while he could remember every mis-truth, lie, false assumption, and political talking-point in their question and knock them all down, while scolding them personally and as a group for putting their politics before the needs for addressing the situation in which the country finds itself.

It was, to say the least, "not smart" to let the President basically destroy the entire political platform of the Republican Party.

Good news is: Hardly anybody has seen it. Who watches C-Span? Fox cut away immediately, only replaying the questions (because they are full of lies) but not the truthful answers.

The result:

The Republicans have to be running scared from this guy. He went up against 141 of them, and it wasn't even close. He DESTROYED their BS and served them their own words for desert.

I haven't seen a lopsided victory like that since the Patriots beat the Redskins 52 - 7. Actually, I'd give the Republicans a sold 7 pts. But, honestly, Obama scored a LOT more than 52 pts.

See it on youtube or google it.

"Obama GOP Retreat"

it's 10 parts long and worth every upload. The best piece of Political debate I have ever seen. Just very very lopsided.

Posted by: Thinker_ | January 31, 2010 6:25 AM | Report abuse


"torq reform"?

How can you say that and expect to be taken seriously?

Posted by: mason08 | January 30, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Question Period is a regular feature of parliament. The leader of the party responds to questions from the opposition parties. In England it is done quite well. In Canada it is not that great at the moment. Stephen Harper has prorogued (suspended parliament) again until March. It is a political tactic which should not be allowed. Canadians are protesting this move but so far Harper hasn't budged.

Posted by: vpucsekberman | January 30, 2010 6:29 AM | Report abuse

The "State of the Union" speech?
Did not come to me as a state of the union.
It seemed Mr Obama was running for office.
With all of the rhetoric being aired, one thing is very clear! What is the government doing? Why is the government taking over private industry? What numbers of the people in government have the ability to run peoples business?
Why do they have their private "laws" to live by, are they different citizens?
Are they not elected to be the servants of the citizens/ It seems to me that they are the Bosses, and you do what I tell you!
Bi-partisanship? Pray tell what it that?
Do we not have two parties? Should this be a rubber stamp congress? There must be something wrong when there is such a dramatic difference of opinion! Can one party be so right? Better still, can one party be so wrong? How about this "one vote", that has the congress grid-locked?
There is nothing in this debate that has anything to do with what is right or wrong, but simply a crisis that keeps the citizenship fighting each other!
I believe all of these "Congress persons", retreat into the back rooms to congratulate each other for a "job well done!".

Posted by: amerigom | January 30, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama visits the land of Lilliput.

Posted by: Mimbres | January 30, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't have time to look through all of these transcripts, but I saw a segment on TV earlier today where Obama said that he was 'not ideological.' Excuse me, but isn't promoting 'redistributive change' being ideological. I think our President just needs to take a week off from publicly speaking. He sounds confused.

Posted by: dambam64 | January 29, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: setrjhytkytjefthtjhyju | January 29, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Lets face it, Republicans are wholly owned agents of Big pharma & Big insurance, etc., so they will NOT do anything that will harm the Super rich and help American middle class.

So if Dems seriously want to do good for American people they would forget bi-partisanship with the party of Republican lunatics and propose Universal nationalized single payer health care and pass it with the Majority vote that they have, which would leave the party of Republican lunatics no room to hide, because the current health care proposal by the Dems makes Republican lunatics look sane, look good. More on this here:

After all consider this FACT: the Conservative parties in Uk, the Israeli government, the favorites of Republican lunatics, are 100% for their Universal nationalized single payer health care systems. More on this here:

Posted by: RealNews1 | January 29, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Believe it or not George W. Bush used to be able to speak like this when he was a fresh young governor but the presidency has a way of dumbing down one's speech if you let the handlers control you and if you get overwhelmed. Part of it was that he really was more familiar and comfortable with dealing with the issues in Texas than at the national level.

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | January 29, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I absolutely concur that this kind of exchange should be regularized. If the Brits can stand questions in Parliament, so can we. Besides, punditry belongs in the hands of elected officials, not 4th Estate stand-ins. The Greek for stand-in in this sense, by the way, is psychophant.

Posted by: Publius14 | January 29, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

President Obama made a nice gesture at the begging of the meeting to be bipartisan but afterward it was all one sided lecture rather than listening to the Gop. When there were difficult questions like torq reform or increased budget by 20% he tried to blame it on Bush but it was not correct, he states let us talk about in later time. When is the later time, when c-span is not there? The problem with this administration is they never have the intention of listening to the opposite side except for using them for political reason. It is not for the country but they want to pass the bills that they think is good for the democrats. We are going to have over 1.4 trillion dollars deficit again next year and nobody is trying to correct the problem except giving us the lip service.

Posted by: chaemoondriver | January 29, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

What a breathtaking display of confidence and consummate knowledge! Can you imaging that Boy President/Empty Suit "W", who wouldn't even attend a town hall meeting if it wasn't carefully screened, doing something like this?

We need more of these forums to expose these obstructionists. I cannot believe that these so-called "fiscal conservatives" even voted against the pay-as-you-go budget rules and the deficit reduction commission, merely because they were Obama's priorities.

These right wing hypocrites have destroyed the nation domestically and internationally over the previous 8 years, are now standing in the way of it being fixes, and must be exposed for what they are!

Posted by: sambam | January 29, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Broke out a can of whoopass

Posted by: JRM2 | January 29, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

@question-guy: Maybe you should watch the video or read the transcript before posting.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 29, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I watched about 80 percent of the exchanges. It was breathtaking, just seeing Obama standing in front of all those Republicans,taking up one question after another and,oh boy,just knocking them them off with consumate ease.

The man has brains!. I wonder if it was smart for these Republicans to have invited him. The President has won a lot of public approval for his performance

Posted by: erzuah34 | January 29, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

WHAT IS THE PRESIDENT OBAMA DOING? Taking questions from House Republicans? I should have never voted for this man.

President Obama has no problem quickly telling African Americans that he isn’t “the Black President” and that he is the President of the Unites States. But as far as I can see he is the President of Republicans.

HEY MR. PRESIDENT – HOW ABOUT US DEMOCRACTS? Can you talk to us for a minute?

Stop the Obama administration from diverting federal contracts away from Small Businesses, Minority-owned businesses and Veteran-owned Businesses to large federal contractors.

Posted by: question-guy | January 29, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep this debate between the President and opposing parties regular, say once a month.

We desperately need this to cut red tapes in D.C.

Posted by: dummy4peace | January 29, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I meant to say "kkklowns"

Posted by: dirktazer | January 29, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

yeah, "thehamptons1", his lips were moving-- and in the process exposing and distroying these klowns and their childish behavior. Save your talking points for Fox viewers.

Posted by: dirktazer | January 29, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Watch out republicans, his lips are moving.

Remember, he believes the end justifies the means. He will say anything or promise anything to further his agenda of "fundamentally transforming America".

Posted by: thehamptons1 | January 29, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm just surprised there have been no demeaning comments about the President yet on this board. I guess I'm in the eye of the storm right now...

Posted by: polepino | January 29, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to House Republicans for inviting the President in and opening up the forum, and kudos to the President for attending!

These are the kind of things that our nation needs; honest, face-to-face discussions on the grounds of mutual respect.

I've long wondered why the U.S. doesn't have something similar to that of the UK House of Commons, whereby the Prime Minister stands toe-to-toe with the MPs and is forced to explain his/her policies and answer tough questions.

It's so much more productive, I think, than all of this sniping in the media and griping behind each others' backs. Do more of this!

Posted by: Buddydog | January 29, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you agree with Obama. Maybe you don't.

But if you watch this hour and twenty minutes and are still willing to say that the guy can't speak without a teleprompter -- or take seriously anyone else who says it -- you're just being ridiculous.

Posted by: bcamarda2 | January 29, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The "no" label won't be off of Republicans until they actually accomplish something of significance with the president. Today's showdown helped Obama more than the GOP. Americans will see a president willing to have a dialogue with a party who essentially says one thing but acts quite differently.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | January 29, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

I watched the full one-half hour of interaction between the President and the GOP caucus. Simply stated, it is a forum that is of great benefit to the nation and our form of democracy. It is especially helpful to this President in particular, more so than the overwhelming majority of his predecessors. That is largely due to his superior grasp of the issues, his ability to think quickly on his feet, and his general persona of likeability. Perhaps even more imortantly, it is a venue in which spin, distortion of facts, and framing an argument around political talking points can be met head-on. Once these political talking points are exposed as such - or dispelled entirely - it then clears the path for moving forward in a meaningful debate. It also served to reinforce two very important points; the Republicans do not have anyone within their current ranks who can stand toe-to-toe with Oboma in actual political stature, and many of the postions that the GOP has taken vis-a-vis legislation are disengenuous once the bark is stripped from the tree. It's a shame that this wasn't televised during prime time.

Posted by: rbrent516 | January 29, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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