President Obama has called out Republicans for preventing successful votes on everything from campaign finance legislation to a small business bill. But even as he tries to publicly spur Republicans to support his agenda, his anti-GOP rhetoric is in top form at Democratic fundraisers.
Does the president think he can win over Republican votes or is he just trying to score points with his base? Democratic strategist Steve McMahon tells Fox, "The President is blaming Republicans for blocking bills that sound appealing but probably wouldn't have passed anyway."
Despite the Democrats' majority status, passing party-backed legislation has been a complex and halting process. When the stars do align for the Democrats and passage is possible, the president says Republicans put up a wall. On legislation to limit corporate influence over campaign funding, which some Republicans say amounts to a free pass for unions, Mr. Obama said Saturday, "You'd think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections wouldn't be a partisan issue. But the Republican leaders in Congress said no. In fact, they used their power to block the issue from even coming up for a vote." He said much the same thing about a small business bill that Democrats want to take up again when Congress returns from its summer break.
The president has also made no bones about needing Republican support to pass his long-sought immigration agenda. To make his case, the president tried to publicly lure Republicans by saying they were supportive of changing the immigration system under President Bush, so why not join the effort now?
While some may argue Mr. Obama's motives are pure, McMahon casts a skeptical eye and says the tactic may not yield the result the president is looking for. "It's good politics during campaign season, but it won't make it any easier for the president to attract Republican votes down the road when he may really need them," he said. "It really demonstrates the difference between campaigning and governing."