President Barack Obama accused Republicans in Congress of operating on an “endless loop” of Benghazi and anti-Obamacare talk, and failing to speak to the real concerns of the American people Monday evening.
The president’s latest comments came at a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event in suburban Maryland where he encouraged Democrats to reject the “cynicism” that midterm elections are always good for Republicans and bad for Democrats, according to pool reports.
Obama expressed a nostalgia for the Lincoln-esque GOP, a “capable” and “sober-minded” party, championing former presidents like Theodore Roosevelt for his conservation efforts and Dwight Eisenhower for his investments in science and education.
“We’ve got one party in Congress right now that has been captured by ideologues whose core premise is ‘no’ — who fundamentally believe that the problem is government,” he said, according to Politico.
The comments to fellow Democrats echo a frustration the president has repeatedly voiced this year, most recently in his latest weekly address in which lamented how Congressional inaction has forced him to take on job growth initiatives on his own.
“If Congress doesn’t act by the end of this summer, federal funding for transportation projects will run out. States might have to put some of their projects on hold,” he said in his weekly address. “In fact, some already are, because they’re worried Congress won’t clear up its own gridlock. And if Congress fails to act, nearly 700,000 jobs would be at risk over the next year.”
“So while Congress decides what it’s going to do, I’ll keep doing what I can on my own,” Obama added.
Obama’s senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer said the president plans to continue to push through Congressional inaction with his “the Pen and the Phone” approach in a opinion piece for Huffington Post Tuesday.
“Next week, as congressional Republicans spend their energy on yet another partisan investigation, we’ll be picking up the pace on the executive actions to help the economy,” he wrote, touting the president’s economically-focused agenda for the week which includes meeting with business leaders to talk job creation and heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, to promote tourism.
Congressional action is notoriously difficult to wrangle in the lead up to midterm elections. Just last week the president warned that the window in which immigration reform might be passed was “narrow” and shrinking.