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Bob Corker: I hit a "nerve" with the president

As you may have heard, President Obama met with some GOP Senators today and got into an exchange that has been described in several accounts as "testy."

I just spoke briefly to Senator Bob Corker, and he shed a bit more light on what happened: Apparently Obama got irked because Corker told him that he felt like the President hadn't been genuinely bipartisan, making Corker feel like a "prop" at the meeting today.

"I felt like there was a degree of audacity in him being there today, after passing his third large partisan bill," Corker told me, insisting Republicans had been stiff-armed by the Whte House on financial reform, health care, and the stimulus.

"I told him I felt like a prop afer the actions they had taken regarding bipartisanship," Corker said. "It hit a nerve."

Corker added that Obama came back at him with "quite a lengthy response," but he declined to share what, precisely, the president said.

Boy would I love to know exactly what Obama's pushback was.

The history of those three legislative initiatives is too lengthy to go into right now. Suffice it to say that this shows that there's probably not a lot of percentage in Obama paying similar visits in the future.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 25, 2010; 4:58 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Republicans  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

My Guess? CFPA. Corker's been trying to kill it throughout the entire negotiations. Why? He's in the pocket of payday lenders.

Posted by: calchala | May 25, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"The history of those three legislative initiatives is too lengthy to go into right now. Suffice it to say that this shows that there's probably not a lot of percentage in Obama paying similar visits in the future."

Sure there is. Even if, as they have clearly and repeatedly demonstrated, Republicans have no interest in or intention to deal in good faith with the administration or Democratic leadership in congress, the administration and congressional leadership still get brownie points for making overtures. And if this does in fact make Corker and his ilk nothing more than props, it's only because they choose to be.

Posted by: CalD | May 25, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Cal D -- I suppose that's possible. I don't know if the public cares about that kind of thing.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 25, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"I told him I felt like a prop afer the actions they had taken regarding bipartisanship,"

No wonder Obama was pissed. That's a ludicrous statement.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 25, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Frankly, I'd like to see Obama stop wasting his time trying to get rethugs on board. Their game plan is transparent: prevent Obama from fixing the previous regime's mess, and thereby get themselves back into power.

How many decades has it been since the Republicans, as a group, put their country ahead of their party?
~

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | May 25, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, poor Repugs, didn't get to strip the Consumer Protection Agency. That is what Corker was insisting on to vote for the bill and O said no.

Posted by: carolerae48 | May 25, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention that Pat Roberts (KS) thinks the Prez takes things too seriously and needs to be on valium. . .

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_05/023974.php

These guys are almost as out of the mainstream as the Tea Partiers.

Posted by: Michigoose | May 25, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"ifthethunderdontgetya"

Great screenname :)

I agree with your statement. But I just caught the word "party" in your comment and I immediately came up with an analogy for Corker's comment.

It's like Corker was invited to a party held by the Dems. The Dems set up the decorations, hired the band, set up the lights, and mixed the punch. Everyone has a good time.

...but then after the party is over Corker complains that he didn't like the punch.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 25, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Jean Michel Cousteau took a dive in the GOM today.

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/50734

Posted by: lmsinca | May 25, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

A few days ago, I noted Kristol's column at the WS for the piece of propaganda that it is. Chait went a step further and checked the original text against Krisol's alteration to it... http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/75148/stalin-mao-kristol

I'm apparently in a bad mood today. Kristol, Corker...I just want to punch the bastards.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 25, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

I never considered the R's as props...
obnoxious tools perhaps, but no props.

The first salvo that blew bipartisanship our of the water was fired by Jim Demented in his famous email that had NOTHING about policy only politics in describing Obama's Waterloo. No Jim you cracker arsehole it was your Waterloo traitor.

Then of course there were the genuine shots of negotiation like Sarah Palin's "death panels" and Grandpa Grassley's "pulling the plug on granny" as he carried around the latest Glen Beck book.

Perhaps all that bipartisanship of R's co sponsoring legislation and then voting filibustering that very same legislation when the GOP was afraid it might be good for Obama...screw the country.

The R's have been loathesome traitors during this administration offering nothing but NO in the hopes of gaining an advantage. They've totally forgotten the nation they're supposed to represent. Honest dissent is one thing...but government takeovers..socialism..death panels and waterloos are simply the response of an intellectually bankrupt party that has NO IDEAS to bring to the table after literally wrecking our economy.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

It's a joke, right? The pot calling the kettle.....
The reason it feels like partisan? the Right has nothing to offer.

Posted by: linda_521 | May 25, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

More Corker: "Corker told reporters, "I just wanted him to tell me how when he wakes up in the morning, comes over to luncheon like ours today, how does he reconcile that duplicity?"

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=127117966&f=1014&sc=tw

Posted by: sbj3 | May 25, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Corker: act like a piece of furniture and get treated like one.

Hell, even props are useful. GOP Senators? Not so much.

Idiots.

Posted by: BGinCHI | May 25, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

When Bob Corker says he "hit a nerve", he actually means to say "The President made me look like a crackhead prostitute."

Posted by: latenightwhatnot | May 25, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

All, happy hour roundup, with Burton's response:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/05/happy_hour_roundup_15.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 25, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Great way to end an otherwise promising career: Get a private lunch with the President of the United States, whose objective is to reach out to you and help you help your party, and use that opportunity to simply lob a personal insult... directly at... the President. Brilliant move. Hope that works out for you, Bob.

Posted by: james0tucson | May 25, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I read the Corker comments as a boast designed to show himself as "Mr. Tennessee Toughy". In reality, he just shrunk himself pygmydom.

Posted by: BBear1 | May 25, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Corker's nutsack is probably still there on the floor, where the "O-Man" left it.

Posted by: TOMHERE | May 25, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Did I say that? Oops! I meant to say "codsack"..

There is one possible good use for a GOP senator: Use them to stuff up the blow-out in the Gulf.

Posted by: TOMHERE | May 25, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

@ Greg,

I do think you're correct up to a point. That is, I doubt many people besides political junkies pay much attention to this sort of thing in general -- especially at this time of year -- and to the extent that they do, probably not too many people read past the headlines. But the more times they grab a headline, the more it can gradually start to sink into the collective public mythology. Moving public opinion it seems, can sometimes be as simple as repeating something enough times in enough places.

Posted by: CalD | May 25, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Corker may flatter himself with thinking it was him who got obama upset but, I think the exchanges with the senate republicans went pretty much the same way they did with gop congresspeople a few months ago.
Obama ran rings around them and made them look like the fools they are.

Posted by: vwcat | May 25, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse


It seems pretty easy to hit a raw nerve with Barry. Talk about any political subject -- Barry is a failure at nearly all of them.

How about that 42% approval rating.


Posted by: screwjob15 | May 25, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Guess who else feels like a "prop" in Obama's world? From Gallup and Rasmussen, I'd say around half to 60% of the American people. (Ras today: 24 strongly approve - 44 strongly disapprove)

Dictatorship, be it benevolent, remains what it is. Obama's understanding of bipartisanship is "my way, as I have planned & see it". Fewer and fewer are accepting that. I isn't in our genes.

Posted by: sally62 | May 25, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

If you expect to be taken seriously, please don't cite Rasmussen polls. It just makes you look like a hack.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | May 25, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

What class.

Hey Corker? You're not on the playground anymore. And who hit the nerve first? Sounds like it wasn't you. I guess you're just acting the way you think the Tea Party wants you to act. That is so pathetic.

The GOP whining about bipartisanship is the most dishonest thing I've heard since the last time Gingrich opened his mouth. He can always be counted on to provide a reference point.

Posted by: st50taw | May 25, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

"whose objective is to reach out to you and help you help your party,"

Funniest remark I've seen this week. By far.

Can this person be serious?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 25, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

"If you expect to be taken seriously, please don't cite Rasmussen polls. It just makes you look like a hack."

Yes, by all means, do not cite the poll that was the most accurate in the 2008 election. That just won't do around here.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 25, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen? Is that a joke? Does anyone have any actual polling data?

Posted by: st50taw | May 25, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

"If you expect to be taken seriously, please don't cite Rasmussen polls. It just makes you look like a hack."

Yes, by all means, do not cite the poll that was the most accurate in the 2008 election. That just won't do around here.

Posted by: quarterback1
******************************************
What sort of non-partisan polling organization conducts a poll on whether people are in favor of nationalizing the U.S. oil industry? Give me a break.

Posted by: st50taw | May 25, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I hate republithugs. Where were they When Bush was stiff arming the dems and america over the 8 years? They were using them as props. Corker takes bribes and let the south break away. They all would starve to death. Declare war on the american Taliban..

Posted by: seasail | May 25, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are a complete joke. There was zero bipartisanship between 2001-2006. That rammed the Iraq war, tax cuts for millionaires, the medicare reform package down our throats and these crooks have the nerve to be anrgy at Dems for not "sharing"???

Give me a break. Just say no the the crooked GOP.

Posted by: dwdave67 | May 25, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama the phony baloney.

Posted by: gsweeten | May 25, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Corker added that Obama came back at him with "quite a lengthy response,"

No kidding. Can this President ever make a point concisely? All he does is ramble on and on with his nonsense.

Hey O Man, and your other prop, Robert Gibbs, why won't you come clean about the job you offered to Joe Sestak? Why should the Republicans play ball with you when you aren't true to your word about transparency in your Administration?

Posted by: eedchic | May 25, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Corker added that Obama came back at him with "quite a lengthy response,"

No kidding. Can this President ever make a point concisely? All he does is ramble on and on with his nonsense.

Hey O Man, and your other prop, Robert Gibbs, why won't you come clean about the job you offered to Joe Sestak? Why should the Republicans play ball with you when you aren't true to your word about transparency in your Administration?

Posted by: eedchic | May 25, 2010 9:59 PM | Report abuse

The narcissistic or psychopathic leader is the culmination and reification of his period, culture, and civilization. He is likely to rise to prominence in narcissistic societies.

THIN-SKINNED AND THICK-OR-BONEHEADED, the malignant narcissist invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and this is further exacerbated by the trappings of power. The narcissist's grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience are supported by real life authority and the narcissist's predilection to surround himself with obsequious sycophants.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | May 25, 2010 11:15 PM | Report abuse

"What sort of non-partisan polling organization conducts a poll on whether people are in favor of nationalizing the U.S. oil industry? Give me a break."

Aww, he must think Maxine Waters is out of the mainstream. LOL

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

This crap from Corker is beyond the pale.

We had the DeMint Waterloo comment from the beginning. The Luntz memo made it perfectly clear what the Republican leadership plan was. In contrast, does anyone think Max Baucus was stringing along Chuck Grassley? You seriously think Ron Wyden didn't want a bipartisan plan here? That Obama wouldn't have taken on the trial lawyers and done med mal reform if Republicans delivered 10 Senate votes? Is this a joke?

The Republican "death panel" hit was based on end of life care legislation originally drafted by Republicans! In freaking JULY, before a single bill was passed in either House, they were wildly mis-representing their OWN proposals in order to terrify people. I don't know how much more bad faith you can display than that.

Time and time again, Republicans claimed they had specific problems with the legislation that didn't make any sense! The legislation is virtually identical to the Republican counter-proposal under Clinton! They hated the public plan. We got rid of the public plan. Oh, well, it's still a "government takeover." No matter what you changed, the rhetoric and the opposition never changed. They were still ranting about the Cornhusker deal after it had been taken out!

Republicans take advantage of the rules in an attempt to stop the bill (seriously, refusing to allow people to be appointed to the Conference Committee?), but then scream there's been a violation of democracy when Democrats take advantage of the exact same rules to pass this legislation! You can't have it both ways!

What's amazing is that as they practiced utterly unprecedented obstruction and duplicity, they still claimed to support the spirit of this legislation--that people should have healthcare. You know, they just didn't talk about it or bother getting around to it when they were in power.

Corker is full of it. Just full of it. I swear, every time I hear Republicans whining about how the mean Democrats cut them out of bipartisan discussions, it sounds exactly like when they told us that evil Saddam Hussein was in league with al Quaeda and had weapons of mass destruction. It's just the story they're telling so they can do what they want. No relationship to reality, but they don't care, because in their minds the reality is they NEED to be in charge, so whatever they say to get there is OK.

Posted by: theorajones1 | May 26, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

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