Do you believe Barack Obama is open to a bipartisan approach on the stimulus bill? Then you should take a look at the president’s speech last night to the House Democratic Issues Caucus in Williamsburg. Presidents almost always relax a bit when they addressing the (mostly) faithful, and Obama let loose — in effect accusing Republicans of peddling “false theories…phony arguments and petty politics” in the stimulus negotiations.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, I just want to say this — I value the constructive criticism and the healthy debate that’s taking place around this package, because that’s the essence, the foundation of American democracy. That’s how the founders set it up. They set it up to make big change hard. It wasn’t supposed to be easy. That’s part of the reason why we’ve got such a stable government, is because no one party, no one individual can simply dictate the terms of the debate…
So I welcome this debate. But come on, we’re not — we are not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin.
We can’t embrace the losing formula that says only tax cuts will work for every problem we face; that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil, or the soaring cost of health care, or falling schools and crumbling bridges and roads and levees. I don’t care whether you’re driving a hybrid or an SUV — if you’re headed for a cliff, you’ve got to change direction. That’s what the American people called for in November, and that’s what we intend to deliver.
So the American people are watching. They did not send us here to get bogged down with the same old delay, the same old distractions, the same talking points, the same cable chatter. You know, aren’t you all tired of that stuff?
THE PRESIDENT: They did not vote for the false theories of the past, and they didn’t vote for phony arguments and petty politics. They didn’t vote for the status quo — they sent us here to bring change. We owe it to them to deliver. This is the moment for leadership that matches the great test of our times. And I know you want to work with me to get there.
Read the whole speech here.