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Obama's new line -- courtesy of McConnell

By Scott Wilson

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. --Yes, he told the one about the car and the ditch, the one where the "D" is for "Drive" (and Democrats) and the "R" is for "Reverse" (and Republicans.)

But President Obama also premiered a new campaign line Monday at a Milwaukee fundraiser for Mayor Tom Barrett, the Democrat running for governor, that his advisers predicted would be used quite often between now and November.

"Don't give in to fear," Obama told an audience of more than 1,000 people at the U.S. Cellular Arena. "Let's reach for hope. Don't believe in no we can't. I believe in yes we can."

The line has its origins in something Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the New York Times over the weekend.

The senator was responding to recent Democratic criticism, led by Obama, that Congressional Republicans had indeed become the party of no for opposing major pieces of legislation, judicial nominees and other parts of the president's agenda.

"I am amused with their comments about obstructionism," McConnell said in the interview. "I wish we had been able to obstruct more. 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."

Hours before Obama took the arena stage (and raised $325,000), Bill Burton, the White House deputy press secretary, began his briefing to reporters aboard Air Force One by drawing their attention to the quote.

He called it "proof positive of how Republicans view their role here, and another example of how they've stood on the sidelines and rooted for failure as opposed to actually getting involved to help move this economy forward again."

"You've heard the president talk about this when he talks about -- you know, the story about driving the car into the ditch and all that," Burton said. "So I wouldn't be surprised if it came up again today."

Sure enough, there it was next to the car metaphor.

"Obstruct more? Is that even possible?" Obama asked the audience.

"We can't go back to an attitude that says what's good for me is good enough. We have to ask what's good for America," he said to applause.

Don Stewart, McConnell's spokesman, said in an e-mail that "like most Americans, Senate Republicans opposed a government takeover of health care, a bill that nearly every week we learn won't reduce health care costs for families, but will take a half-trillion dollars out of Medicare while kicking seniors off the plans they like and raising taxes on small business."

"And we did work to prevent the failed stimulus bill that was supposed to keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent, yet only succeeded in adding a trillion dollars to the national debt," he continued. "And we did work to stop their version of the financial regulation bill -- since it was endorsed by Wall Street and will hurt small businesses across the country."

By Scott Wilson  |  August 16, 2010; 3:48 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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There is a war against reason and it is primarily by the Republicans. Obviously the economics of the Obama administration have not been seen yet. Even the Health Care bill was gutted to satisfy the corporations and the Republicans, as well as the Blues. Providing Obama with his Waterloo, should be a declaration that is offensive to mature people. Why not so? Mmmmm.
Assertions such as "failed Obama economics" is just that an assertion without either documentation, proof or merit.
McConnels bragging about stopping useful legislation demonstrates just how effective the Republicans have been in stopping any action by this President for the good of the nation and in the process, asserting bad on him. I honestly believe that unless we see some maturity gained by most of the people in this nation, we will have the double dip and we will lose the nation to those who care nothing for it, on the right.

Posted by: MIMPOSSIBL | August 17, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

The disaffected right is so unhappy that they are blaming Obama and the Democrats for their finest accomplishments. They forget that it was Bush/Cheney and Paulson who structured the TARP program and undertook the bailouts of the various banks, not Obama. Also the auto company loans were started under Bush, with Obama picking up the discussions after winning bigtime in the November 2008 elections. The Iraq debacle is the disastrous creation of Bush/Cheney, and Obama is getting us out, as promised. The deficit grew to $1.4 trillion under Bush due to unpaid for tax cuts and wars, and a faltering economy where tax receipts were sliding like a toboggan during Bush's last year. Blame the Democrats? Hah! Whatever happened to that oldtime GOP principle of responsibility?

If you guys hate the government so badly, then why are you trying so hard to get control of it again in the November elections?

Bolshevik tactics, with a good dose of Red Guards behavior thrown in, is what the right is engaged in today. No lie too big, no conflict too dangerous, and all fear and propaganda to scare (like terrorists) the public. Obstructionism, no concern about cooperation or compromise - all very much like that nasty group that sent its enemies to gulags and firing squads after they got the power they so desperately fought for. The American right now is very much like the Bolsheviks!

Posted by: enough3 | August 17, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Don't tell me we are back to "hope" and "yes we can" again. Good grief, where has Obama been for the last 19 months.
Oh yes, I forgot the pork and union Trillion dollar Stimulus, the greatest Washinton take over of the economy Obamacare, the awful handling of the gulf spill, and the Moratorium to bring down the economy, and 13 and half Trillion dollars in debt. The Nationalization of the Banks and Auto industries, and the appology tours to the Muslims, as well as denying the war against Terrorism.
So much between all those White House parties, basketball and golf outings, vacations and mini vacations, getting a Nobel Prize he didn't deserve, and making a fool of himself about the Chicago Olympics.
How about the fact that he surrounds himself with Chicago thugs and socialists?
Yes, I really love this hopey, changey stuff that is destroying America while China builds up its military and refuses to buy any more of our debt.

Posted by: joanz3 | August 17, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are in constant campaign mode if not against our president then running for 2010 or already 2012. They should instead be focussing their energy on working with the President and the majority party to help Americans.

Does the GOP think it's really a good idea to kill Social Security and Medicare? Is it because they and their constituents are all independently wealty and will never need this kind of assistance? Assistance that most of us worked hard and long to earn.

The GOP is good at rabble rousing and being led by their noses by FOX news.

It's time they woke up and put forth ideas on how to strengthen this great country other than continuing to make sure their rich friends and big energy continue to make big profits and pay less taxes so they can give lots of money to the GOP perpetual campaign.

From what I've seen over my 60 years of life is that since McCarthy that's all the GOP had done. If they had their way everyone over 60 would be out in the streets living in their cast off refrigerator boxes and scrounging for food in rich people's dumpsters.

What I want to know is when their voting block is going to wake up to the realities and stop believe the spin and lies.

All we have the GOP to thank for is the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and an economy on the brink of destruction. That was their legacy to Obama and now they're trying to turn the table and point fingers and blame the current administration for their failures.

Posted by: davidbronx | August 17, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

@Ron, Get your education online on your own time

Posted by: nelsonjoe17 | August 17, 2010 4:19 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jiji1


Shouldn't you be out looking for those WMD? How did that search work out for you conservatives?

How are you going to pay off the Bad Debts from Bush?

Posted by: gkam | August 17, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

I just hope that voters don't have memory lapses at the ballot box. The Republicans should be termed as traitors to the United States of America. They hoped for failure and have been showing that since day one. They have no plans of their own, they just want to see America fail in its attempts to dig out of the failures of the last 8 years of Bush missteps. A vote for any Republican would be a vote to fall back into the mire that the Republican hogs created. Do we really want more of Bush policies in the future? I certainly hope not.

Posted by: racam | August 16, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

at least it is better than "Mission Accomplished"

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | August 16, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

FloridaChick wrote: "yes we can, send Urkel off to a federal judgeship or other musty redoubt where he can craft phrases, preen at the dead silence people are forced to observe in his presence, and play golf. Please see him safely offstage, and the Chicago crew of capos also.

DC Sage 1 wrote: The President is doing a very good job at enacting the agenda we elected him to enact. I doubth that you will be sending him anywhere. He is gifted and skilled and he has eaten the do-nothing's lunch. President Obama has used the stumblebum Mitch McConnell as a foil and a punching bag. The President has had two Supreme Court Justices confirmed not to mention defeating the hapless bum McConnell on every single Democratic initiative. The hapless bum McConnell does not have one single accomplishment that he can mention since President Obama took the oath of office. Nothing. Zero.

Stick around. There are many more cans of whipass to open up on the do-nothing party of no and many more victories to be won by the American middle class.

Posted by: DCSage | August 16, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

McConnell? What's Frank Luntz told him to say today? Let's face it -- the Republicans haven't come up with any ideas since their great Listening Tour in the Spring of 2009 concluded that their whole problem was that they didn't have any ideas. In the face of the worst economic crisis in living memory, the Republicans have no idea of what to do. So they insist on doing nothing. That's the best they can come up with. Let's do nothing about this problem, let's do nothing about that problem. It's getting to where these people ARE the problem.

Posted by: SixOysters | August 16, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Yay McConnell. At least he's honest about his intention.

The majority of Americans wish he had been able to block Obamacare. And I'd bet a majority wish he had been able to save America the $1 trillion special interest stimulus.

Does anyone here think the financial reform bill was a great victory other than for Wall Street and DC lobbyists?

Posted by: Gidgmom | August 16, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

What's the real reason the stock market is tanking? You see, the stock market is a forward looking indicator, generally in the range of 4-7 months and the markets are pricing in the cost of the Republicans taking over the house in January. It should give us all pause that even the market (the ALL MIGHTY MARKET) is telling us that under even partial Republican rule the economy will suffer.

Posted by: zackool | August 16, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: jiji1 | August 16, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

As Obama works on his catchy lines, too bad he has no catchy results in employment and jobs to go with those catchy lines.

Posted by: hz9604 | August 16, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and as for McConnell, can they even pronounce an "R" in Chinese? This bloated gasbag sold his soul to the Chinese sometime ago. He has repeatedly threatened to block any legislation that would curb or repeal the H1-B and L-1 visas that allow unqualified foreign parasites to displace US workers at a time when more than 5 million US technology sector workers are unemployed! He claims that US businesses should be allowed to comb the globe for the cheapest labor costs. So, with this treasonous piece of trash you get NeoMarxism, fuzzy minded one world Stalinism, parading around in pseudo- conservative clothing. McConnell stands for even less than the Democrats. Maybe change his party abbreviation to a "W", standing for "wh*re" or "worse"?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: theaz | August 16, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

No, that "D" represents "disaster" as in the disaster we are facing if the Democratic free trade practices, massive job outsourcing, suffocating foreign debt, are allowed to continue. We have REAL unemployment of around 22% in this country, all of it due to the free trade, service based, economic fantasies of the Democrats. Voting out-of-office the collection of ratbags, clueless fools, self serving swine, that composes so much of that party is a matter of personal and national survival.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | August 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Well. . .take a look at "FloridaChick" and her remarks. I am appalled that an American citizen would call our President "Urkel." It is one thing to disagree as part of the loyal opposition--
I've done that myself a time or two. It is quite another to resort to playground insults. What's next? "I'm gonna tell my Dad to beat up your Dad"?

Grow up!

Posted by: wwIIbaby | August 16, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

yes we can, send Urkel off to a federal judgeship or other musty redoubt where he can craft phrases, preen at the dead silence people are forced to observe in his presence, and play golf.
Please see him safely offstage, and the Chicago crew of capos also.

Posted by: FloridaChick | August 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

yes we can, send Urkel off to a federal judgeship or other musty redoubt where he can craft phrases, preen at the dead silence people are forced to observe in his presence, and play golf.
Please see him safely offstage, and the Chicago crew of capos also.

Posted by: FloridaChick | August 16, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: clawrence12 | August 16, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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