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President Obama takes on House Republicans (VIDEO)

In an unusually frank discussion, President Barack Obama challenged House Republicans during an address at their retreat in Baltimore, Maryland.

Here's (some) of the video (and a full transcript):

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 29, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  White House  
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The state of the Union address was first- rate.We have now a president who is fully determined to get ahead. Though constantly poised,Obama has demonstrated he wiill leave no stone unturned. He boldly challenged those lobbyists who are so much involved with their vested interest that they don't care about the tens of thousands Americans without health care.

We have a president who wonders how America can regain its lost prestige and fundamental values. This is a president who values our uniqueness among the nations of the world. Yes,the United States of America was created by men dedicated to political and ethical principles they believed to be of universal applicability.

Does not the concept of the Founding Fathers include a measure of "civic virtue" or republican morality,which means a willingness to suspend a pursuit of immediate self-interest to act for the common good? Obama is inspired by Abraham Lincoln and he wants America to be great again.

Let us face the facts. Obama is deliberately exhorting the Republicans as well to face the truth. As Americans, we have a moral as well as practical obligation to stand behind a commitment to human rights, fair laws, justice and equality for all. Be great again.

Dan Chell.

Posted by: danchell | February 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC was crushed in the ratings once again as they had an Obama lovefest on Friday.

Fox News beat MSNBC by 3 to 1.

Posted by: Washington13 | February 1, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

The American People are not judging Obama by the color of his skin but by the content of his policies.

Posted by: Washington13 | February 1, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who says racism has nothing to do with Obamas poll numbers doesn't know Florida.

Posted by: seemstome | January 31, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

A forum in Tampa florida, Baynews9 I-poll question was "What impact did President Obama's State of the Union address have on your opinion of him?"
Here are some responses:
Posted By Mike on 01/31/2010 @ 04:42 PM
Your the reason why NI GG ER is still in use.
View Comments

Posted By Mike on 01/31/2010 @ 04:56 PM
This comment was about you, but stupid cannot be cured. Obama is not one, because he is mulatto which is 1/2 black and 1/2 white in case you do not know the meaning. Idiot.
View Comments

God bless our troops
Posted By Sharon on 01/31/2010 @ 05:02 PM
As usual the disgusting progressives must not allow discussion, or the poll question to be answered. The truth is that the progressive movement through history has shown they HATE FREE SPEECH. They want to destroy our country for that reason. It is clear with the Progressive President and his agenda to destroy our country as more and more Americans stand together asking questions and speaking the truth not just accepting blindly the lies that the progressives will keep the insulting and attacking up at full pressure, this was evident with the Progressive President Obama attacking and bulling everyone in this State of the Union. Clearly a low for Americans everywhere as he openly insulted our Supreme Court justices and insulted our legislative elected saying HE KNOWS ALL. A dictator, or just not quite there yet? Regardless the lower level of society that seeks to destroy and control the rest because of their fears will not be successful and rats run when exposed to the light. So run progressives run, WE THE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO EXPOSE YOU AND WE WILL STAND PEACEFULLY TOGETHER TO STOP THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR BELOVED AMERICA.
View Comments

seems to stoned
Posted By N.I.B. on 01/31/2010 @ 06:00 PM
ha ha ha ha ha ha you only wish you could even come close to sharon and her level(she is allot smarter), your a joke and we all see it no doubt, don't worry die hards like yourself just keep going and ignore the facts like virginia,new jersey,massachusetts, there is allot more ahead and even after the fall of power your kind will still be saying it's all bushes fault? ha ha ha ha ha! even alfred e newman "aka" bush is smarter then you and that's not saying much about your smarts,you have many posting names and all are so lame but they are always the same you praise your messiah even after the boat will sink to the bottom, hey nothing wrong with loving the worst presidents of all time like carter/odumbo, but you will ignore all anyways, the word i am looking for when it comes to you is "dummy" , well good luck with that!
View Comments

This was AFTER Obama announced the high speed rail money being given to Tampa to Orlando!!

Posted by: seemstome | January 31, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC really got out there with the cheerleading on Obama's trip to see the Republicans

However, the people I talk to really didn't like Obama's attitude.

MSNBC might be saying that Obama was able to smack down everything the Republicans said, but the people I have spoken to believe Obama had some snide remarks which did not help - and Obama really did miss an opportunity to make some real progress.

Instead of actually trying to get something done, Obama really didn't - Obama was more concerned with the tv cameras and making some points which everyone doesn't agree with.

Obama cut off a Congressman three times and complained that he "had to sit there and listen to this stuff - which he doesn't agree with half of"


The idea that Obama spoke for 70 minutes on Wednesday, then gave the opening speech on Friday in Baltimore - after all that Having Obama "listen to" about 45 seconds of statements from a Congressman which prefaced a question - after all that seems like Obama made a pretty obnoxious remark.

Obama says he wants ideas - the Republicans were there with proposals - Obama didn't see too interested.

Obama said - I will look at them.

Obama's commitment to be bipartisan - was a commitment he made to the American People - not to the Republicans.

AND that commitment meant that Obama was pledging to adhere to CENTRIST POLICIES ARRIVED AT BY COMPROMISE -

NOT jamming far-left big-government programs.

This is the kind of substance that the American people see - and the kind of substance that is not going to be easily papered over with some words by Obama.

The American People feel that Obama promised one thing - and attempted to do something totally different.

This is a credibility problem - it is a trust problem.


Obama didn't make any progress - so what, Obama took some questions.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 31, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Democrats, including Obama, are clueless if they think Massachusetts had nothing to do with the failed policies of Obama.

Scott Brown's nickname was during the campaign and still is "41".

It was his ability to be the Senator that would stop Obama's unpopular agenda that got him elected in Massachusetts.

If you do not understand this basic fact, then you probably need to stop watching MSNBC. All three of you.

Posted by: Washington13 | January 30, 2010 6:08 AM | Report abuse

seamstone said: "I know it's unfair to criticize the handicapped but can ANYONE imagine George W. Bush answering questions posed by an equivalent group of Democratic congressmen? After watching Bush during the Kerry debates, we all know the answer."

Of course we could imagine good ol' GW doing that. He'd have the ear piece on full blast with people feeding him all the information he needs and exactly how to say it.

And to think people said BHO couldn't speak without a teleprompter. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!

Posted by: PeixeGato1 | January 30, 2010 2:20 AM | Report abuse

I know it's unfair to criticize the handicapped but can ANYONE imagine George W. Bush answering questions posed by an equivalent group of Democratic congressmen? After watching Bush during the Kerry debates, we all know the answer.

Posted by: seemstome | January 29, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Watching Obama on CSPAN, I could only marvel at the simplicity with which he explained complex issues. Bill Clinton could not have done any better. No teleprompter was there to save the day, no speechwriter. Here was a president in both style and substance and master of the room.
He bearded the best republican lions in their own den while the entire country watched. Republicans wanted television coverage and they got it, boy, did they get it.

Posted by: seemstome | January 29, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Posters such as Washington13 still don't get the lessons of Massachusetts. They think voters in that state were dissatisfied with only Democrats. They weren't. They were tired of nothing being done because of politics as usual. They are sick of gridlock, of politicians in general both republican and democrats. Obama is going to force the republicans to make hard choices in the house and particularly in the senate. The spotlight will be focused on their actions and voting record on stand alone issues. They will have the opportunity to choose the people's interests or their own. If republicans sabotage these critical issues they may end up suffering more than democrats this fall.

Posted by: seemstome | January 29, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

This was a nice preview of 2011 when Republicans will control the House of Representatives.

What the folks who seem to have slavish attachment to Obama fail to recognize is that the only people who looked bad after this event were the Democrats in the House.

Obama got points for showing up.

The GOP got points b being respectful and clear.

In the end, the GOP wins because the dishonest media can not portray them as racist, sexist, bigot, do-nothing, homophobes.

I think the genius pundits who are always wrong fail to recognize that the GOP has played the Democrats here.

The Democrats in Congress look like they do not matter.

I can't wait for November 2, 2010.

Posted by: Washington13 | January 29, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Our President went to the Republicans on their turf and with television cameras present to talk to them. I'm glad that he is talking to them and it would be refreshing if the Republicans actually started acting like they want to solve problems. Does the health care reform bills have 100% to my liking, no, but it will cover more people then are presently covered under our current health insurance system. It does guarantee that no one will be denied health insurance due to pre-existing condition. I would prefer a public option but I would rather see that option dropped if it means more people can obtain and maintain health insurance coverage.

In order for any system to function, there needs to be compromise. The health care reform bills includes programs and ideas put forth by Republicans from past years, however, the Republicans refuse to publicly acknowledge their own ideas/programs that in the current bills. Why? They believe that their chances for election are to make sure that this President fails and they don't care what happens to this country in the process. I'm an independent voter and I'm glad that Obama is publicly debating the Republicans. I'm sick and tired of watching our legislators fight among themselves.

So, bravo President Obama for meeting with the Republicans and for asking for it to be recorded. But, I wonder if the Republicans will ever allow such an event to happen again because they might have to stop posturing and start cooperating.

Posted by: anne15 | January 29, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Go to hell drivl, you've got no place in a civilized world.

Posted by: JRM2 | January 29, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

It's called breaking out a can of whoopass, not a single Republican could honestly refute what he told them and he wasn't afraid to tell them "how it is".

Posted by: JRM2 | January 29, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

All the reviews of BHO's performance were through the roof (see HuffPo): BHO totally called out his opponents on must-see-TV and they had no answer. In fact, there's a lot of GOP fingerpointing today about who approved filming the BHO smackdown. Let Obama be Obama begins today...

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 29, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing how goobers complain about Obama that the agenda is too leftist.

Name some bills passed by this Congress that are leftist, goobers, and make sure Republicans did not vote for it.

Explain what is leftist about them for credit.

For extra credit explain how such a bill was not passed when Republicans were in control

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

With a major program such as health care - a massive government program with massive taxes - it is simply unrealistic to have one party create the program with the stated aim to create a long-term electorial advantage for itself.

And that is what happened.

Obama and the democrats turned health care into that kind of partisan struggle - THEN THEY ARE COMPLAINING THAT THE OTHER SIDE OPPOSED THEM.


This whole week - that is the impression I get from Obama - Obama and the democrats wanted it both ways the entire time -

This is Obama's fault - everytime the Republicans asked to be at a meeing or be included, Obama should have agreed - The Republicans have been ignored the whole year.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 29, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama said "Let's have the rhetoric get closer to the action"

Quite amazing to hear Obama say that.

It's like a liar telling you to tell the truth, because he doesn't like getting lied to.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 29, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not suggesting that we're going to agree on everything, whether it's on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don't have a lot of room to negotiate with me.
I don’t know if the plot is wild-eyed, but yes, the plot, the plan, is to “impose huge government in every aspect of our lives”. BO's words don’t change that and his actions (and Pelosi's and Reid's) confirm it.

Posted by: leapin | 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 4:05 PM | Report abuse

"But if you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot.


No, I mean, that's how you guys -- that's how you guys presented it.


And so I'm thinking to myself, "Well, how is it that a plan that is pretty centrist . . . "


No, look, I mean, I'm just saying -- I know you guys disagree, but if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say this is actually what many Republicans -- it -- it's similar to what many Republicans proposed to Bill Clinton when he was doing his debate on health care."

Posted by: DDAWD | January 29, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I can't watch the video, but I'm reading the transcripts. Interesting stuff.

Posted by: DDAWD | January 29, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton might triangulate to please the electorate. Barack Obama is more inclined to search for villains.

In this, he begins to resemble Jimmy Carter. When the country was reeling from his catastrophic mismanagement, President Carter diagnosed “a crisis of confidence . . . a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation. The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.” Um, no. The nation’s soul and spirit and will were just fine. Carter was the problem.

Last night, endeavoring to explain (to himself?) the peculiar failure of the people to adopt his social-democrat agenda, President Obama too found fault with them:

Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions — our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government — still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are [sic] full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people’s doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates into silly arguments, and big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away. No wonder there’s so much cynicism out there. No wonder there’s so much disappointment.

That could be it. Alternatively, people may be dismayed to find that they elected a left-wing ideologue who wasted most of his first year pushing health-care reform when something like 17 percent of the nation is unemployed or underemployed; who reads terrorists their Miranda rights and gives them lawyers; who apologizes to the world for America’s manifold sins; who increases the national debt by $1.6 trillion in his first year; who elects to try Khalid Sheik Mohammad in Manhattan; who promises transparency and then presides over shameless backroom deals; who clings to cap-and-trade even in the midst of economic misery; who extends more conciliation to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than to Republicans; who has nearly the entire press in his back pocket but nonetheless attempts to punish Fox News; who disdains all Republican proposals as “the failed ideas of the past”; and whose vanity (a presidential podium and teleprompter in a sixth-grade classroom?) is verging on the pathetic.

President Obama has signaled that he will not change course. It’s an affront that it took him 70-plus platitudinous and self-indulgent minutes to say so.

Posted by: drivl | January 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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