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Obama: Republicans Are Partisan

Watching the Press Conference last night, I heard a comment that frustrated me greatly. Here’s the question and the full answer (I bolded and italicized the parts I wanted to bring attention to so you don’t have to read all of it, but you might want to anyway):

Q:  Back to the politics of it. You mentioned two Republicans in your opening statement, but you have 60 Democratic seats, a healthy majority in the House. If you don’t get this, isn’t this a fight inside the Democratic Party, and that Republicans really aren’t playing — you can’t really blame the Republicans for this one?

 

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, you haven’t seen me out there blaming the Republicans. I’ve been a little frustrated by some of the misinformation that’s been coming out of the Republicans, but that has to do with, as you pointed out, politics. You know, if you’ve got somebody out there saying — not that let’s get the best bill possible but instead says, you know, let’s try to beat this so we can gain political advantage — well, that’s not I think what the American people expect.

 

I am very appreciative that people like Chuck Grassley on the Finance Committee in the Senate, people like Mike Enzi, people like Olympia Snowe, have been serious in engaging Democrats in trying to figure out how do we actually get a system that works. And even in those committees where you didn’t see Republican votes, we’ve seen Republican ideas. So, for example, in the HELP Committee in the Senate, 160 Republican amendments were adopted into that bill because they’ve got good ideas to contribute.

 

So the politics may dictate that they don’t vote for health care reform because they think, you know, it’ll make Obama more vulnerable. But if they’ve got a good idea we’ll still take it. And in terms of Democrats, the fact of the matter is that because this is a big issue, I think that a lot of Democrats have a lot of different ideas— some of them have to do with regional disparities. For example, you’ve got some Democrats who are concerned that the Medicare reimbursement rates in their communities are too low and so they’d like to see the bill incorporate higher rates for doctors and providers in rural communities to incentivize good care in those communities. That’s a legitimate concern. But the minute you bring up that concern then that adds money, which means that we then have to find additional dollars.

 

So this is part of just the normal give-and-take of the legislative process. I’m confident at the end we’re going to have a bill that Democrats and some Republicans support.

My interpretation of the answer:

 “I’ve been a little frustrated by some of the misinformation that’s been coming out of the Republicans, but that has to do with, as you pointed out, politics. You know, if you’ve got somebody out there saying — not that let’s get the best bill possible but instead says, you know, let’s try to beat this so we can gain political advantage — well, that’s not I think what the American people expect.”

Republicans are lying about the bill so they can beat it in an attempt  to beat me. They really don’t have any good reasons to vote against it.

“So the politics may dictate that they don’t vote for health care reform because they think, you know, it’ll make Obama more vulnerable. But if they’ve got a good idea we’ll still take it. And in terms of Democrats, the fact of the matter is that because this is a big issue, I think that a lot of Democrats have a lot of different ideas”

Republicans won’t vote for it because they are partisan and are trying to make it harder for me. But because we aren’t partisan like the Republicans, we will take their ideas to make the bill better. Democrats have many ideas, though, and some won’t vote for it because of legitimate reasons.

My combined interpretation of the answer:  The Republicans are fighting against this Bill because of partisan politics and don’t really have any good reasons to oppose it except that this bill failing might hurt me. But we Democrats are fair and put their good ideas into the bill anyway, because we aren’t partisan like they are. And its okay for Democrats to vote against the bill because they have legitimate concerns, unlike the Republicans. But I’m sure that we will get the good Republicans and all the Democrats to vote for this bill in the end.

Basically President Obama just called anyone who disagreed with him a politician who cares more about his position than the American people. Politics as usual.

Transcript taken from TPM.

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