President Barack Obama said he wants a mature discussion between politicians of all stripes as the White House and members of Congress try to make tough decisions on spending and taxes necessary to run the government and deal with a ballooning budget deficit.
“My hope is that what’s different this time is, is we have an adult conversation where everybody says here’s what’s important and here’s how we’re going to pay for it,” Obama told a news conference Tuesday.
Don’t hold your breath.
Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 with a pledge to seek common ground between Democrats and Republicans, but his time in office has been marked by bitter fighting and few issues garnering bipartisan support.
Obama’s healthcare overhaul — dismissed as ”Obamacare” by Republicans — passed with no Republican votes. His economic stimulus plan had only minimal backing from the rival party. The Democratic president released his latest budget proposal Monday, but Congress never passed last year’s spending bills and some Republicans have vowed to shut down the government if Obama does not support their plans to cut spending.
Political discourse during Obama’s presidency has also been marked by name-calling such as Obama’s references to “Wall Street fat cats” during his fight to pass financial regulatory reform, and precedent-breaking incidents such as a Republican congressman shouting, “You lie!” at Obama as he addressed a joint session of Congress.