President Obama expressed his support for Harry Reid’s decision to invoke the nuclear option because the current “pattern of obstruction is not normal.” “For the sake of future generations, we can’t let it become normal,” he said at a press conference on Thursday shortly after the Senate’s vote.
The president argued that the Founding Fathers did not design the rules “in what is supposed to the world’s most deliberative body” to be used in the way Republicans have towards executive nominations. He went on to say that neither Republicans nor Democrats have been blameless in their employment of the tactic, but that its use has escalated on the GOP’s watch.
The president has changed his tune on the nuclear option since his time in the Senate. While serving in the chamber, he warned in 2005 that the nuclear option was “more about power than about fairness” and an effort to “change the rules in the middle of the game.”