Interview: Obama on Partisanship and Getting Things Done in Washington

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White House correspondent Michael Scherer spoke with President Obama aboard Air Force One on Aug. 21 for the Sept. 10 issue of TIME, now available online to subscribers. (Also in the magazine: David Von Drehle on Joe Biden’s art of overstatement.) A complete transcript follows.

Cover Photograph by Callie Shell for TIME

MICHAEL SCHERER: What is your message for the independent voter who supported you from Ohio or Iowa in 2008 because he thought you could change the tone in Washington, change politics? Did you do something wrong? And why will the next four years be different?
BARACK OBAMA: The message I have for them is no different than the message I have for the rest of the country, which is, I ran for office to not only deal with a looming economic crisis but also reverse a decade in which middle-class families had seen their security erode.

And everything I’ve done — most of the time in cooperation with Congress, but sometimes working around Congress — has been geared toward that central goal of making sure that we have a strong, vibrant, growing middle class and we got ladders of opportunity for people who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class.

(PHOTOS: Behind the Cover: Obama Makes His Way to the DNC)

That’s what the Recovery Act was about. That’s what saving the auto industry was about. That’s what health care was about. And for those who were hoping that Washington would be more focused on dealing with the problems that everyday Americans face, as opposed to party politics, I’m one of those people.

And I still believe that that’s what the American people are looking for: solving problems. What I’ve tried to do is to take ideas from everyone — Democrats and Republicans — that I thought would make a difference in the lives of working families. That’s why the Recovery Act — a third of it was tax cuts, traditionally an idea Republicans supported. That’s why our health care bill relies on private insurance and why it looks so much like Governor Romney’s health care bill.

So what I’m trying to do is to take the best ideas from either party, with one criteria, one filter, and that is: Is this helping to grow the middle class, build the middle class and create ladders of opportunity for people? And hopefully, voters recognize that not only has that been my priority over the last four years, but it’s going to be my priority over the next four years.

So on a couple of those examples — on stimulus, on health care reform and then on the debt ceiling — at each of those points, you express surprise and frustration that Republicans haven’t come further along with you. Has that changed the way you approach them? In the lame duck next year, you’re going to be dealing with probably one body, at least, of Congress controlled by Republicans. How are you going to approach them differently after the election? If voters are looking for a change in the stalemate, what do you see as the thing that changes the dynamic that we’ve had at least since 2008?
Well, one of the good things about this election is it’s going to give voters a very clear choice. I want to keep taxes low for 98% of Americans — everybody making under $250,000. Governor Romney wants to cut taxes by another $5 trillion, including for the wealthiest Americans, and to pay for it, potentially tax middle-class folks to the tune of about $2,000.

I want to continue to invest in things like wind energy. Governor Romney wants to continue $4 billion worth of subsidies to the oil companies. I want to implement the health care reform and balance our budget in sensible ways, making sure that we’re eliminating waste and fraud from Medicare but making sure it’s still a guarantee for seniors. Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan want to set up a voucher plan.

(PHOTOS: The Obama Presidency in Pictures)

So given how stark the choices are, I do think that should I be fortunate enough to have another four years, the American people will have made a decision. And hopefully, that will impact how Republicans think about these problems.

I will continue to reach out to them and work with them wherever I can. And I think it’s important to note that even in the two years that Republicans have controlled the House, we’ve gotten a lot of stuff done. We have passed a payroll tax cut that affected almost every American. We’ve helped veterans get hired as they come home. We’ve gotten two major trade deals that open up markets and are contributing to us doubling exports.

So even in a pretty sour political circumstance, we’ve been able to get some things accomplished. And I believe that in a second term, where Mitch McConnell’s imperative of making me a one-term President is no longer relevant, they recognize that what the American people are looking for is for us to get things done.

And I will continue to insist to my Democratic colleagues that not all good ideas just come from Democrats and that if we’re going to reduce our deficit in a serious way, we are going to have to cut some spending even on some programs that I like. If we’re going to be serious about energy independence, then we can’t just have a knee-jerk opposition to the incredible resources that we have in our country. We’ve got to have an all-of-the-above strategy that develops oil and gas and clean coal along with wind and solar.

So my expectation is that there will be some popping of the blister after this election, because it will have been such a stark choice. Where Republicans refuse to cooperate on things that I know are good for the American people, I will continue to look for ways to do it administratively and work around Congress. And a good example of that is, for example, making sure that homeowners around the country can take advantage of these historically low rates and refinance.

There’s no reason Congress can’t move forward and at almost no cost to the federal government really boost the housing market and our economy. But if Congress won’t do it, we’ll keep on looking for ways to get that done without legislation.

(MORE: Obama Campaign Responds to Ryan Pick)

In 2011, as part of the grand bargain that didn’t work, you put a lot on the table that was uncomfortable for Democrats — changes to Medicare, changes to Social Security, cuts to Medicaid. For your Democrats who are supporting you now, should they expect you to go no further than that in the second term? What is your message to them about what you’re willing to put on the table to get a deal with Republicans on entitlements?
My message to Democrats is the same message I’ve got to Republicans and independents, and that is, I want a balanced approach to deficit reduction that combines additional revenue, particularly from folks like me who can afford it, with prudent cuts on both the discretionary side and the mandatory side but that still allows us to make investments in the things we need to grow.

And that means I’m prepared to look at reforms in Medicaid. I’m prepared to look at smart reforms on Medicare. But there are things I won’t do, and this is part of the debate we’re having in this election. I do not think it is a good idea to set up Medicare as a voucher system in which seniors are spending up to $6,000 more out of pocket. That was the original proposal Congressman Ryan put forward. And there is still a strong impulse I think among some Republicans for that kind of approach.

I’m not going to slash Medicaid to the point where disabled kids or seniors who are in nursing homes are basically uncared for. We’re not going to violate the basic bargain that Social Security represents.

Now, the good news is, if you’re willing to raise taxes on millionaires and billionaires, then you can make modest reforms on entitlements, reduce some additional discretionary spending, achieve deficit reduction and still preserve Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid in ways that people can count on. The only reason that you would have to go further than that is if there’s no revenue whatsoever. And that’s a major argument that we’re having with the Republicans.

Look, they love to paint me as this Big Government, tax-and-spend liberal. The truth is that growth in the federal government is slower than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower. Taxes are lower than at any time since Dwight Eisenhower. The tax reforms I’m calling for would simply take us back to the tax rates under Bill Clinton for people above $250,000, which means taxes will still be lower under me than they were under either Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan.

We’re not looking for anything radical here. And frankly, the country doesn’t need radical changes. What it needs is some commonsense solutions that stay focused on helping middle-class families.

(PHOTOS: Inside Barack Obama’s World)

You said one of the mistakes you see in the first term was not telling that story better. What does it mean to tell the story better in the next four years?
Well, what I meant by that is that we were in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime crisis, so we had to just do stuff fast. And sometimes it wasn’t popular. And we didn’t have the luxury of six months to explain exactly what we were doing with the Recovery Act, which was basically a jobs act and making-sure-middle-class-families-didn’t-fall-into-poverty act.

And there were all kinds of things we could do to have explained that effectively, but we didn’t have time. The auto bailout — now a lot of people are coming around and saying that was the right thing to do. But at the time, I think it polled at 10%. And we didn’t have time to worry about that. We had a million jobs at stake in places like Ohio and Michigan, and we needed to make sure that we acted quickly.

So moving forward, what I want to make sure the American people understand is that investments in education, investments in basic science and research, an all-of-the-above American energy strategy, in making college more affordable, in rebuilding our infrastructure, our roads and our bridges and our ports and our airports — all those things that help make us grow are compatible with fiscal discipline as long as everybody is doing their fair share.

And that’s a story I’m doing my best to tell during the campaign. That’s a story I will continue to try to tell, if I’m fortunate enough to have a second term, in Inaugurations, in States of the Union. I want to make sure that people understand that I’ve got a focus on growing this economy, not growing the public sector, but doing enough to ensure that we’ve got the best workers in the world, we’ve got the best technology in the world and we’re competitive in the 21st century.

(MORE: The 2012 Money Race: Romney Relies on Big Donors, While Obama Taps the Grassroots)

I’ve heard two messages about the way politics works. One is, you’ve said — and your staff will say — variations of the line that if you get the policy right, the politics follows. You’ve also said a number of times, usually in fundraisers, that when people get angry or anxious, that rationality and science and reason doesn’t always carry the day. So now you’re four years in, which is winning out? How do you see it? They seem to be conflicting.
I don’t think they’re conflicting. I believe that if you do the right thing, then public opinion will eventually follow. But public opinion doesn’t always match up precisely with the election cycle, right?

So I genuinely believe that five years from now, folks will look back and say, I’m really glad that my 23-year-old can stay on my plan for health insurance. I’m really glad that we’ve closed the doughnut hole, so prescription drugs are cheaper for me. I’m really glad that I’ve got a pre-existing condition and I can still buy affordable health care through the exchanges that have been set up in the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.

But that is when the thing is set up that people [will] realize they still have a choice of doctors and this hasn’t been a government takeover of health care — all the uncertainty has been taken out of it. And I’ve got an election in less than three months, not five years from now.

One thing I’ve learned as President — I’ve learned many things, but one thing that’s been confirmed for me is that when you’re sitting in this office, the weight of the office, the realization of how many people rely on you, the conversations you have with folks who are struggling, the sacrifices you see of soldiers who are coming home after losing a leg or worse in a war, requires you to make the very best decisions you can and set aside for a moment what it means for you politically.

And I don’t think I’m unique in that. I genuinely think, despite my strong disagreements with him, that George W. Bush felt the same way. And I know Bill Clinton felt the same way. I know George H.W. Bush felt the same way.

And so, what I wake up determined to accomplish every single day is making the best decisions I can, knowing that not everything we do is going to work, because part of the other challenge that you face as President is the problems that reach your desk are the ones that nobody else had good answers to. If there were easy solutions, somebody else would have solved it before it hit your desk. There’s some tension, there’s some conflict, there’s uncertainty, there’s two paths or five paths that might be taken and you’re not 100% sure that every single one of them are going to work.

And the only thing, then, to guide you is what you genuinely think is going to be best for the country. Because if you start trying to guess what’s going to be most politically advantageous or you try to game all that stuff out, you’ll get lost very quickly.

(MORE: Romney’s and Obama’s Weak Spots)

I assume you’ve done a pretty close study of your opponent, Mitt Romney. I know you admire him for his family and for the work he did on health care in Massachusetts. But I wonder if you could point to a couple of other things in his record and things he has accomplished that you actually admire.
Well, you took away a couple.

I did. I took away the two good ones.
He strikes me as somebody who is very disciplined. And I think that that is a quality that obviously contributed to his success as a private-equity guy. I think he takes his faith very seriously. And as somebody who takes my Christian faith seriously, I appreciate that he seems to walk the walk and not just be talking the talk when it comes to his participation in his church.

But the fundamental difference between Governor Romney and myself, aside from some of our life experiences, I think is really a matter of how do you grow an economy that is strong and healthy over the long term. And when you look at the history of this country, when we’ve done best it’s been when everybody did well — when the middle class was strong, when wages and incomes were keeping up with the cost of living, when the doors of opportunity were widening, when we were giving more people a quality education, when as a country we were willing to make investments in things like science and research that any individual enterprise wouldn’t find profitable. That’s when we do well.

When we do badly is when we have a philosophy in which everybody is on their own and a few people are doing very well, and they amass more and more economic power, political power, and ordinary folks start feeling left behind. That skews not only our economy, but it also skews our politics.

(MORE: What You Missed While Not Watching the Second Night of the GOP Convention)

So the most obvious example is the contrast between the 1920s leading into the Great Depression vs. the postwar era of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. And we’ve seen a repeat of that — the growth we had under Bill Clinton vs. a lack of growth that we had under George W. Bush.

This isn’t a matter of who is more patriotic or who is more empathetic toward people or who is nicer. It’s a hardheaded assessment of what makes our economy grow. And the facts are on my side in this argument. The question is whether, while we’re still digging ourselves out of this hole that we found ourselves in, the facts will win the day.

Coming out of 2008, there was talk from you and from some of your staff that you could bring [your campaign's] sort of grassroots movement, the organization, to Washington. And 2009 ended up being very much an inside-Washington mirror. [The year] 2012 is different. But if you’re able to get a second term, have you thought about ways of doing what the sort of promise of 2008 was that was never achieved in terms of bringing larger numbers of people to have a voice in the political process?
I’ve given that a lot of thought. And I do think that we had the best of intentions in 2009 and 2010. Again, we had to move very quickly, which meant that our biggest concern was how do we get 60 votes right now to get this done.

We won’t be in that same kind of crisis, putting-out-the-fire mentality, in 2013–2014. There are a handful of big issues that we’re going to have to deal with. We’ve got to get our fiscal house in order. And so, one way or another, before midyear of 2013, we will have solved that problem. Either Mitt Romney will have won, and he and members of the Republican Congress will have pushed through their tax cuts and all the cuts that they are proposing, and people will be able to assess whether that worked. Or we’re going to have a balanced approach that I’ve proposed.

I think we can get immigration reform done. The time is right for it. We used to have bipartisan support for it. That will continue to be a top priority for me.

I think there’s a lot more progress that we can make on the energy front, not only developing traditional sources of energy — the natural-gas boom, I think, could have huge impact on our energy independence as well as geopolitical implications, making us less reliant on other countries for energy. But also the work that we need to do to become more energy efficient — building on the doubling of fuel-efficiency standards on cars — I want to make sure that we’re increasing energy efficiency in buildings and schools and hospitals, which could put people back to work and save us money in the long run.

We still need to rebuild our infrastructure. And I think there’s still a lot we can do to reform our government — the whole government reorganization, streamlining it to eliminate paperwork, make government more customer-friendly — have one-stop shopping for businesses that want to export that need a credit line, that need technical assistance. All those things, I think, we can make government as consumer-friendly as an Apple store and Amazon.

All those things are areas where, historically at least, we’ve been able to bridge some of these partisan divides. And they’re not particularly ideological. But for me to get those accomplished, I do think I’m going to need to bring in the voices of the American people much more systematically, much more regularly.

Finding the right mechanisms to do that is something that we’re going to spend a lot of time thinking about. Obviously, the Internet and the digital age helps. We’ve been able to do that on our campaign. We now need to translate that more to how our government works. But I think the American people are ready for it.

The one thing I feel very strongly about, as I travel around the country, is that as anxious as people feel about the recession we’ve just gone through and the challenges that we’re getting from around the world, Americans are really tough, resilient and decent, and they’ve got good instincts. The more they are actively participating in this process, the better off we’re going to be.

I think that one other big argument I’ve gotten with Republicans is, they like to paint government as something alien and foreign and part of the problem, and if we can just shrink it and neuter it — or as Grover Norquist once said, Drown it in a tub, essentially — that somehow we’re going to be better off. That’s not how the founders conceived of our government. America is based on the idea of self-government, a government of and by and for the people — not of and by and for the lobbyists, not of and by and for the members of Congress, [but] of and by and for the people. And anything I can do to enhance that and to reconnect people with that idea will, I think, lead to better outcomes.

One impediment to that is what we’ve seen in this campaign with money and politics and Citizens United. And so one conversation I think we’re going to have to have with the entire country after this election is, Do we want a situation in which undisclosed donors writing $10 million checks have such disproportionate influence over the course of this country? And if not, what can we do to change it?

Did you make a mistake by not embracing Citizens United earlier or sort of embracing it?
First of all, I’ve never embraced it. What I’ve said is, we can’t unilaterally disarm. I make no apologies for thinking that it’s bad for our democracy when you’ve got hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by shadow groups that aren’t accountable to anybody and aren’t even disclosing.

Within the parameters of the rules that are being played right now, we’ve tried to make sure that we are disclosing everybody who is contributing to us, our bundlers. We still don’t take money from lobbyists. We don’t take money from PACs.

But look, we’re in an environment right now where money is as prominent as it’s ever been in our politics. And that’s never been my idea of politics. That’s never what has motivated me. I think the American people consider this a big problem, and I hopefully will be able to work with them to find some solutions in a second term.

PHOTOS: The Art of Political Stagecraft

MORE: TIME/CNN Poll: Obama Leads Romney in Florida

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Steven Janiszewski
Steven Janiszewski

 

To gain an existential

understanding of the cult that produced Mitt "Cyborg"

Romney, and to get your socks scared off, read The

Assassination of Spiro Agnew, available

in paperback and ebook at:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb...

Its unwilling, part-Mexican Mormon assassin dramatizes the Mormon

superiority complex, manifesting it as racism, sexism, jingoism

and an anti-federal government temperament. His research in the

new library reveals ominous similarities between Islam and

Mormonism. The spiritual power behind the cult, which is not the Holy

Ghost, acts out.

“With a clarity of language and vision unsurpassed in

contemporary American prose, Steven Janiszewski's Assassination

of Spiro Agnew takes us into a U.S. mazed with madness and

Mormonism and all things Utah, a U.S. that was then and still is. Do

we need a novel, even as brilliant as this one, about a young man on

a divine mission to assassinate the Vice President because he is too

liberal? Yes, now more than ever. Readers, welcome to a

masterpiece.”

Tom Whalen

www.tomwhalen.com

Read The Assassination of Spiro Agnew.

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

Does anyone else wonder how two very apparent and offensive consistencies seem to go unnoticed or ignored, even though they are very tell-tale?  

The first, is that over the last twelve years, by most any measurement, the Republican Party and it's representatives have actually done next to nothing for the majority, the 99%.  Oh, they have faulted the Democrats, especially Obama, very aggressively and with enthusiasm but when all of the distractive noise is cleared away, they have actually made no effort for the people, only working diligently to serve their masters, the 1%, and together bombarding the people with propaganda.  Anyone not needing to be defensive and capable of being rational should easily see that and be able to agree.  

Second, does it seem to anyone else like there could be a school that they go to, to perfect their look-alike performances, like maybe the "Karl Rove Training School of Obnoxious Arrogance"?  I mean you take Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, Bachmann, McConnell, Santorum and several others, including GWBush, Cheney and Rove himself, and there is a definite consistency in their demeanor; they are all arrogant, bold, stubborn, uncompromising, argumentatively aggressive, unyielding and belligerent - just self-serving nasty.  Now some may consider that to be strength, a quality (I'm sure "the money" does as it's done in their interests) but the reality is you can't work with people like that, there is just no possible way to deal with them or to ever achieve anything (the results we have seen strongly attest to that).  It even appears they let Norquist, Limbaugh, Palin, Beck and a few others into their school.  

Now those two things tell a story and simply identify the GOP as a no-hope resource for the majority.  To support today's Republican / Tea Party is to support them as "puppets" for "the money" and is just asking to be conned and taken for granted.  We have already seen and paid the costs for that with Bush-Cheney ... and for sure we are better off without any more of it.

erin wolfmann
erin wolfmann

Done this to help Americans who work hard? Then you take away their hard work pay and give it to people who don't have any interest of working, only to get free money from your office, who WE as taxpayers fund. Nice work Obama.

pleisch
pleisch

How about people posting civilized polite debate with facts, dates, and sources? Rudeness, name calling, and slights accomplish nothing. I'm surprised some of the comments weren't deleted by the moderators. No one will be influenced by the talk on this board--unless it's to avoid reading anything more. That won't make for informed voters either. 

Shirley Gallagher
Shirley Gallagher

Several  things that President Obama is much the Republicans and the Blue Dogs Democratics hate him and not his policies.  Not to take their word for the Gospel truth, think lie and hope its the truth.

If they were plotting not to work with President Obama on day (1), this is a group of  politicans with a heart full of  "HATE".

May God have mercy on their SOUL !!!!!!!!!!!!

JohnYuEsq
JohnYuEsq

Romney made-off like Madof and Enron and would lead us into Fianacial Ruin and, War with Iran and Russia, WWIII, and Nuclear Holocaust.

DEKSOFT
DEKSOFT

 There’s a difference in how the political parties choose their Vice President.....

REPUBLICANS  

Dwight Eisenhower’s Vice President was Richard Nixon who later resigned the Presidency in disgrace.  

Richard Nixon’s Vice President was Spiro Agnew who resigned the Vice Presidency in disgrace.  

George H. Bush’s Vice President was Dan Quayle who was consider a lightweight and not very bright.

George Bush’s Vice President was Dick Chaney who pushed America into an unnecessary war with Iraq and condoned and promoted torture which made America hated around the world for our policies.  

John McCain wanted to have an inept, incompetent moron named Sarah Palin next in line for the Presidency.

Mitt Romney chose as his running mate a man who wants to decimate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and destroy the safety net that tens of millions of Americans have depended on for decades.  

DEMOCRATS

The man Franklin Delano Roosevelt chose as his Vice President, Harry Truman, when he became President, is known for promoting his Fair Deal, which instituted a number of improvements at home, such as the allocation of federal funds for new housing, an increase in the minimum wage, extension of Social Security benefits, and desegregation of the armed forces.  

John F. Kennedy’s Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, when he became President created the Great Society programs which included antipoverty programs, civil rights legislation, the creation of

Medicare and Medicaid, the passage of some environmental protection acts, and the creation of laws to help protect consumers.  

Jimmy Carter’s Vice President was Fritz Mondale, a man who never wavered in his commitment to civil and human rights. Throughout his accomplished career — attorney general, senator, vice president, presidential candidate, ambassador, and professor — Mr. Mondale has remained true to

his small town roots, dedicated to helping others.  

Bill Clinton’s Vice President was Al Gore, Co-authored the National Organ Transplant Act, to create a national network to match donors to recipients, Co-sponsored legislation to strengthen America's rural hospitals, and sponsored a Health Fairs program to provide free medical check-ups at sites across the country and he won an Academy Award as well as the Nobel Peace Prize for his working in protecting our environment.  

Barack Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden, is known for the 1994 Violence Against Women Act which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence.  He wrote legislation to promote college aid and loan programs which allows families to deduct on their annual income tax returns up to $10,000 per year in higher education expenses. His "Kids 2000" legislation established a public/private partnership to provide computer centers, teachers, Internet access, and technical training to young people, particularly to low-income and at-risk youth.  

It seems very clear that the kind of people the Republicans choose to be their Vice President are not right for our country.

hbreaker1949
hbreaker1949

cin  He said it was officially over in June 2009  and after the 780 billion dollars was spent, we are still in what most people think is a recession, especially the 23 million unemployed, under employed or stopped looking. 52% of Obama's 4.2 million jobs are minimum wage or slightly higher,  only 25% of the jobs lost in 2007-8 were in that catagory!  Hamburger flipper jobs are not going to build this economy back to a strong and robust growth

hbreaker1949
hbreaker1949

And the Obama Justice Department just announced lat week it would not pursue prosecution of Goldman-Saks for its role in the financial crisis in 2008!  Even though a Senate Committee chaired by a Democrat found a multitude of questionable and probably illegal acts! And who do you suppose contributed to the Obama campaign in 2008?

tommariner
tommariner

Read the issue of Time with the President on the cover -- it's not the DNC campaign blather you would expect. There are some articles wanting to believe, but highly critical of the President's polarizing, targeting personality campaign style. 

They point out that if Obama had done a Reagan and Clinton and payed attention to a mid-term rebuke this would be a shoo-in for a second term. I had to keep turning to the cover to make sure it was really Time Magazine. Whoa Democrat Campaign -- when you guys lose total control over the media, you're in big trouble -- now you have to DO something.

Bill Wright
Bill Wright

The middle class is far worse off today than 4 years ago, as we are now saddled with far more debt.  We can "tax the rich" into oblivion, and it still won't put a dent in the mountain of debt we've created.  

erin wolfmann
erin wolfmann

And that really makes me want to work hard enough to become one of the rich... so Obama can take my money and spend it on brewing more beer at the WH and other stupid policies that haven't shown any success in the past four years. I don't want to trust that you will do better the next four, which is all you can run on Mr. President. Just trust us like last time.

oneamericanmind
oneamericanmind

Barack Obama will be a one term, ON THE JOB TRANING presidential test who failed miserably in most everything he attempted to do, according to historians that will be writing about him in years to come. There is little, if anything that he has done for the good of our country, and most of the issues and policies he has decided upon (usually after long delays) were mainly intended to divide us and appeal to segments of society he hopes will help him keep his job. His utter disregard for the constitution and power grabs using various agencies and departments of the federal government will go down in history as one of the most invasive, deceitful, and destructive efforts on the part of government to force the citizenry to conform, limit, sacrifice, accept and look forward to more regulation in every aspect of our lives. I, for one, say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

If this unqualified, inept,  incapable, yet undeservingly vain man is re-elected, you can kiss whatever remains of the American dream goodbye.

cin
cin

 Hysteria is so unattractive.

Unless we're talking the Def Leppard album, I mean. That was pretty good.

oneamericanmind
oneamericanmind

Barack Obama will be a one term, ON THE JOB TRANING presidential test who failed miserably in most everything he attempted to do, according to historians that will be writing about him in years to come. There is little, if anything that he has done for the good of our country, and most of the issues and policies he has decided upon (usually after long delays) were mainly intended to divide us and appeal to segments of society he hopes will help him keep his job. His utter disregard for the constitution and power grabs using various agencies and departments of the federal government will go down in history as one of the most invasive, deceitful, and destructive efforts on the part of government to force the citizenry to conform, limit, sacrifice, accept and look forward to more regulation in every aspect of our lives. I, for one, say, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

If this unqualified, inept, undeserving and incapable man is re-elected, you can kiss whatever remains of the American dream goodbye.

vstillwell
vstillwell

Four years ago I watched the federal government hand over a blank check to Wall Street banks. Job losses were in the hundreds of thousands every month. The surge in Iraq was in full swing to quell the violence. Bush was getting shoes thrown at him by Iraqis. Our country was becoming a sick joke. I don't really like Obama all that much, but he's a he!! of a lot better than Romney. I can't trust Republicans. In fact, if you work for a living, you can't trust them either. 

cin
cin

LOL, remember Bush practically p00ping his pants and wanting to hand the banks the big checks with no oversight whatsoever? He was pretty much saying, "Here, take as much money as you want, and do whatever you want with it, just don't implode, mkay?"

Yeah, good times, right?

Papa Foote
Papa Foote

Here is our President, trying to get "others to understand" - I HOPE SOME "MORE" WIIL!

-The Old Goat-

Zzyzx48
Zzyzx48

The President is quoted

"The question is whether, while we’re still digging ourselves out of this

hole that we found ourselves in, the facts will win the day."

That explains much. The only way out of a hole is to stop digging.

Nicole Sandra
Nicole Sandra

Keep talking, keep giving more interviews..And the Job rates have fallen further..

http://centuryfoxpost.blogspot... 

superlogi
superlogi

If the Economic Recovery Act was to fix the economy, then why after the recession was officially over in June 2009 (something he obviously had nothing to do with) and all that money was spent, did the economy tank?  Furthermore, if the Bush tax cuts cease in January, we're heading for a double dip if one is to believe the CBO.  What's his plan for avoiding that projection?

cin
cin

Want to clarify what you mean by saying the economy tanked in June 2009?

https://www.google.com/search?...

vstillwell
vstillwell

You don't understand. You're arguing with a political fan boy. If you're not on his team, you're always wrong. Fan boys forget history when its bad history, and it's always the other team's fault. Always. 

superlogi
superlogi

No, but I suggest you reread what I said.  The recession was officially over in June 2009 and economic growth was the same then as it is today.  In short, the recover act didn't recover anything.

alonsomoseley
alonsomoseley

I was really concerned with the number of contrived pictures of Obama in this edition of Time, it shows a level of vanity that is usually matched by self centred focus that leads to putting personal before professional. I was even more concerned reading the interview with Scherer. Obama seems to be trying to take the credit for being here to deal with a looming financial crisis. He never saw it coming and has done nothing to hold the creators to account. Onefinal thing, I never knew America was a class society, i thought that was just here in the UK. If he mentions middle class one more time the lower class will wonder where his message of hope has gone!

Conrad
Conrad

Its not what BO knows its what we know about this Black Muslim Supremacist.

A filthy rotten liar about everything. This guy cannot string two sentences together without lying.

 A disgrace to America.

 Its now to our  Nations present travesty for Americans to ever have placed a non American and such an evil traitorous man in the WH.

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Anumakonda Jagadeesh

Extraordinary interview with President Barack Obama. The pictures are outstanding.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh  Nellore(AP),IndiaE-mail: anumakonda.jagadeesh@gmail.com

warlord
warlord

Everything he says, is a rehash of everything he has said previous. It almost sounds sane until you realize he doe snot believe what he says himself. It,s all what he thinks

we want to hear. The man's diabolical, and evil and plotting the downfall of this

country. He wold incite the blacks to riot if he thinks he may go in a blast of glory

in a civil war. His ego is that large. With his defeat, the Democrats are done as a

major part especially, if a Constitutional party emerges.

freemanintexas
freemanintexas

 What OBAMA Knows Now:

Ahh. Oh.. Umm... Wait a min...

What do you mean   "I"   an in deep doo... doo...  ???

FORWARD -> -> ->

Fast  forward over the cliff !!!

mr389ec
mr389ec

For the middle class? Obama made Mexico and every country he deals with middle class while insisting our middle class pay for them. Obama is still draining our middle class, making us watch as he pays for millions of illegals and LaRazas students college with our taxes and federal grants. Americans, especially whites would never get by with such obvious theft. Whites have been beaten down with political correctness to the point our kids are pushed around in school by those we were trying to be nice too. The teachers are teaching our children it's alright for foreigners to come here and speak any language they want. If we knew how many millions of these spongers we are putting through college there would be an action of some sort, but the bulk of Americans, those who work all the time and the elderly, are kept in the dark. Never have we so openly been lied to by a president, while passively taking it. Obama has gotten so bold, he doesn't even try to hide his lies and crimes, he is boss and black so there is nothing we can do about it in his mind. Talk about abusing being black.

Phoenix31756
Phoenix31756

Loyal Obama arse kissers party out in force, I see !

Wonder how many of them voted for the scumbag and regretted it later but are too ashamed too admit it, so they continue with Denial guilt !

Nate Whilk
Nate Whilk

Obama and the rest of you leftists really are full of hubris and living in a dream world. We oppose his policies because we think they're bad, not because a Democrat proposes them.  And the current awful state of the country shows the ones he has gotten through are as bad as we thought. To President Obama and everyone else on the left: get over yourselves and GROW UP.

AudioSuede
AudioSuede

 Actually, here are some examples of how Obama used Republican ideas in some major items of his term: The Affordable Care Act, the budget, the auto industry bailout. In the ACA, he dropped the public option and added the individual mandate, both of which were proposed and championed by Republicans, including Mitt Romney. In the budget, he proposed massive spending cuts that the Republicans asked for in their first budget proposal. And in the auto industry bailout, he basically followed the model of Bush's bank bailout.

And for each of these, he's been attacked by the same Republicans with whom he compromised. On the ACA, the right became vehemently opposed to the individual mandate. Paul Ryan and congressional Republicans all but ignored Obama's budget, preferring to pretend it didn't exist after calling it a bunch of angry names. And of course, Republicans were so opposed to the idea of a bailout of any kind (even though they were the ones that started bailing people out in the first place) that they all but forgot that it succeeded and we made all the money back with interest while saving Detroit's industries in the process.

These are just three large examples of ideas that were apparently great when Republicans proposed them, but were apparently downright evil when Obama proposed them.

Also, while our country's in a fairly awful state, notice that it actually has gotten better over the last four years; job gains are on pace to break even with the job losses under Bush by the end of the year, meaning Obama will have created more jobs than were lost at the start of the recession. The health care law is actually going to wind up saving the country a few hundred billion dollars over ten years while also making access to affordable care easier for the millions of Americans who, like me, were stressing out about their health bills. He passed a massive GI Bill that ensures that veterans are getting jobs more easily than they were before he took office, hired the country's first consumer debt czar, passed legislation to regulate and eventually forgive rising student loan debts, signed legislation making gender-based wage discrimination illegal, signed the STOCK Act preventing the inexplicably then-legal practice of congressional insider trading, and made more inroads in the battle for gay rights than any president ever has.

Short of building a time machine and going back in time to prevent the recession from happening, I don't know what you expect him to do.

SGinNC
SGinNC

 Well here is a clue to you.  We have lots of moderates and Progressives in the Republican's ranks.  McCain and Romney are two of them.  Unfortunately Romney is still light years better than Obama so he will get a vote and watched closely by Conservatives, but just because these people have Liberal ideas, doesn't mean they are indicative of Conservatives beliefs.

Jodi Cassell
Jodi Cassell

Great article - I respect my president for his intelligence and commitment to those outside the wealthy.  He is a good man.  I support the policies he espouses in terms of healthcare, taxation, energy and I believe he is moving us in the right direction.  I also respect his commitment to cost cutting wrt healthcare vs throwing the seniors to the health insurance wolves with a voucher - when health insurance has risen at rates over 100% in the past decade.  I appreciate his thoughtful approach to debating the issues vs the bald faced lies and attack being put forward by Ramp;R (as per Ryan's first big national speech yesterday - shamefully full of lies).  You have my vote Mr President - thank you for your hard work!

hahaha_all_in
hahaha_all_in

I have voted democrat for 58 years, this year I will be voting for Romney

MrObvious
MrObvious

What a load of crock.

SGinNC
SGinNC

 Do you have proof he is lying MrObvious?  Do you even know this poster?  If not your accusation is baseless and means nothing.

Sudhansu Misra
Sudhansu Misra

 If the comments were archived, I am sure we would find your posting from summer of 2008

"Voted for democrat 54 years, this year I will be voting for McCain" 

sacredh
sacredh

Hahahaha. Bullsh1t. You've probably never voted for a democrat in your life.

kahnkeller
kahnkeller

Tina Ferrer said it all... I had no problem supporting obamy on what he said

he would do... the problems arose when what he did... did not match what he

said he would do... the man is a stone cold liar....and while I think romeny/ryan

will cause more damage than they would do good... einstein said doing the

same thing over and over... and hope for a differnt outcome... was a definition of

insanity.... so more of obamy give away programs is not the answer.

Jecasm
Jecasm

I will be voting for Obama for sure.  I wouldn't trust a republican as far as I can throw one.  They are liars and cheats who are trying to rig the election in their favor  because they know that their policies are not popular.  They obviously think that they should cheat their way into power for the good of the people. 

I'm all for jobs but the first thing that this lot will do is to put strict anti abortion controls in place.  That's what they've concentrated on when they've taken over the states.  We have to keep Republicans -mostly men by the way - out of the bedroom.  Next they'll have men counting their sperm to make sure that none is lost.    They are anti woman who want to get women back in the home barefoot and pregnant (no birth control either) so that men can take over the jobs that women normally have done - at the woman's payscale of course.   This is their way of  increasing jobs.

Jecasm
Jecasm

The $716 billion accounts for a reduction in payments over 10 years to insurance companies, hospitals etc.  It's not actually taken out of medicare, it's a reduction in payment that will reduce medicare and make it sustainable over the long term

sacredh
sacredh

If you're going to resort to facts, you can't play anymore.