Off the Record

Greta: Obama's phone, pen threats just bully talk

'Off the Record', 2/14/14: Even when the president and Congress agree on something - and could put that phone and pen to use - they still can't get anything done


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's all go "Off the Record" for a minute. In the past few weeks, President Obama has been repeatedly threatening Congress, saying if Congress won't act he's just going to pick up his phone and pen and act without them. Well, that's just silly politics. It doesn't make the president look like a leader. It makes him look like a bully.

That talk just divides the nation deeper when he does that, and we sure don't need any more of that. President Obama could do as he says, though. He could pick up the phone. He could do something unusual. He could actually work with Congress and get something done. That's his job.

Case in point. It is reported in "The Hill" newspaper that President Obama, quote, "still believes American Olympians shouldn't have to pay income taxes on the medal they win." Well, guess what? Republicans agree. They are already on top of this. Republican Senator John Thune introduced a bill - no taxes on the Olympic medal winners. So, what's the holdup?

President Obama should pick up that phone just as he says to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the president's own guy, a Democrat, and tell him, "Call the Republican bill up for a vote! Do it now for our Olympic champions." That's leadership getting something done for the right reason, not petty politics. Will this happen? Well, don't hold your breath.

P.S.: Things are really bad when both sides actually agree on things - and they do on this one - and they still can't get it done. That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight. If you have an important story or issue you think I should take "Off the Record," go to and tell us about it.