Tone Check

Posted by Brian Patrick on

FYI – 

Today, the Obama Administration shockingly declared that the time for “legislative compromise” is over. This is in stark contrast to House Republicans effort to focus on areas of common ground where we can work together to produce results without letting our differences get in the way.

  • WH Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer: “We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.” (The New York Times, 9/20/11)
  • Speaker Boehner: “The American people expect us to bring together the best of both parties' ideas, and it is our desire to work together to find common ground between your ideas and ours.” (Letter To President Obama, 9/9/11)
  • Majority Leader Cantor: “In a divided government, we shouldn't allow our differences to prevent us from making progress on areas where we can agree. Focusing on areas of common ground will provide real results for the tens of millions of Americans currently out of work or struggling paycheck to paycheck. I stand ready to work with the president to get the economy back on track.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/9/11)

In fact, Leader Cantor has been pushing to focus on areas of agreement and bipartisan solutions for quite some time:

January 2009: “Today, we had another positive exchange of ideas with President Obama where Republicans reinforced the need to help middle-class families and small businesses. To meet our serious economic challenges, we are committed to providing fast-moving tax relief and aid that will help families, create jobs and get our economy back on track. Now that we have presented workable solutions to the President, Republicans will continue our efforts to work together to ensure that any bill he signs includes the right approach to creating permanent jobs.” (Press Release, 1/27/09)

February 2009: “So we in the House, as Republicans, went to work. Leader John Boehner said let's put a plan together. He and I took that five-point plan over to the White House and we presented it to President Obama. And in fact when he saw our plan, he said, look there's nothing crazy in here. Our plan is really focused on providing tax relief to small businesses.” (CNBC, 2/11/09)

February 2009: “Families and small businesses across America are struggling, and Republicans stand ready to work with the Democratic Leadership and President Obama to make the difficult decisions necessary to solve our current economic challenges. As we move forward, we must evaluate each policy proposal through the prism of whether it creates jobs, strengthens our long-term fiscal outlook, and helps middle-class working families and small businesses. Since Republicans met with President Obama in early January, we have been working every day to create the common-sense solutions our nation requires. Today was the continuation of a national discussion surrounding serious policy proposals that we must enact to create jobs, empower our small businesses and reduce our deficit. This summit reaffirms our commitment to work with President Obama and continue to propose serious bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems.” (Press Release, 2/23/09)

February 2009: “I believe that House Republicans stand united in willingness to work with this President to try and tackle the very tough economic situation that is facing our families, to try and make some of the tough decisions together.” (Press Release, 2/24/09)

February 2009: ABC's Chris Cuomo: "Is there anything in the speech last night that you agreed with?" Rep. Eric Cantor: "Absolutely. I think that Republicans are united in the fact that we want to work with this President to try and solve the economic challenges that families are facing across this country. But the first order of business is turning our attention to what's happening here on Capitol Hill. (ABC, 2/25/09)

March 2009: “It is encouraging that President Obama is now talking about small businesses, and Republicans have solutions focused on helping those job creators get back on their feet. ... Republicans are hopeful that the President will join us in providing more help for these struggling job creators than the plan announced today. We hope that the President will come back to the political center where he so effectively campaigned, so that we can work together in a bipartisan way to help small businesses overcome the economic challenges they face.” (Press Release, 3/16/09)

April 2009: “As we near the end of the first 100 days of this administration, I think we can also reflect back and see that the era of bipartisanship we’d hoped for could probably be improved upon, and I believe that’s how we’ve come back from the Easter Recess, to say to the President that we do want to work together, that we can actually unite. Washington should be more thoughtful about trying to deliver for the American people . ... ‘Mr. President, we want to work with you. The people are watching. We have an opportunity to really deliver on change to save some real money for the American people.’” (Press Release, 4/22/09)

April 2009: MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski: “I just wonder how you intend – you're meeting with the president today. How do you intend to deal with this issue with him? What do you intend to say?” Rep. Cantor: “Well, I want to say this, Mika, I want to say to the President, ‘We're ready to work with you. It is time for us to try and deliver on the change that you promised during your campaign to make sure that Washington started working for the people again and not just for the political interests that seem to permeate this town. It is time for us to do better.’” (MSNBC, 4/23/09)

April 2009: “For example, the President started the week with a meeting of his Cabinet and he suggested to the Cabinet secretaries that they find $100 million in savings so that we could perhaps see Washington begin to behave like most families and businesses are doing in tough times, which is to tighten the belt. So I asked the President to work with us. We have plenty of ideas of how to cut waste in Washington and to accomplish some meaningful spending curtailment and that's really what we've got to do. We've got to save some taxpayer dollars. Beyond that, we had a lot of discussion at this meeting on health care. Obviously, this is the marquee of what the President has set out as his primary domestic agenda item. It is such a big issue. It is not a Republican issue or Democratic issue. This is an issue that affects all people.” (CNN, 4/23/09)

May 2009: “Today, as the nation struggles to regain its footing, we in Washington should be working overtime to give these job creators all the tools they need to thrive. This should be a bipartisan endeavor. Republicans would welcome the opportunity to join forces with our Democratic colleagues on behalf of the small-business agenda.” (Politico, 5/11/09)

October 2009: “... we should put partisanship aside and prioritize the way Washington spends your money by putting an end to lower priority and sometimes wasteful spending, and finding ways to responsibly pay down our debt so that our children can inherit a thriving economy and limitless opportunity.” (Press Release, 10/2/09)

November 2009: “With millions of Americans desperately seeking work, I ask the President put the economy first, and sit down with Republicans to develop bipartisan solutions that will change the direction of this economy and get people working again.” (Press Release, 11/6/09)

November 2009: "Since January, House Republicans have been focused on jobs. Hopefully the White House Summit is a sign that the Administration is finally ready to join us in providing real solutions that will get Americans back to work.” (Press Release, 11/12/09)

December 2009: “So as the President kicks off his jobs summit tomorrow, I would like to highlight some common-sense proposals that we have had under discussion that I believe are worthy of serious consideration by the President and the Congressional Majority. I know there are philosophical differences between the parties, but surely we can agree on a few common-sense things to help get America back to work. Let’s begin with a simple premise: An overactive government did not make America the land of promise, prosperity and opportunity.” (Remarks At Heritage Foundation, 12/2/09)

January 2010: “We have stood ready and willing to work with this President since his first day in office.” (The Today Show, 1/27/10)

February 2010: “What we need to do in a bipartisan fashion is focus on how we bring down costs. That's where this debate began almost a year ago and that's where we need go. and there are a lot of things we can do, such as put in place malpractice reform, such as put in place real competition so that people can have a choice and there'll be a market to bring down costs, about purchasing across state lines, and there are other solutions.” (Fox News, 2/9/10)

November 2010: “I am encouraged that the White House now seems to acknowledge that raising taxes in this environment will only make things more difficult for struggling small business people, families, and investors. In the spirit of working together and listening to the people, I hope that when Congress returns in 10 days we will pass legislation that ensures that no one faces a tax increase.” (Press Release, 11/5/10)

November 2010: “It is going to be incumbent upon us to say Mr. President, we are here to talk with you, to try and work out solutions. ... The president did say this week he's willing to work with us. Now listen, are we willing to work with him? First and foremost, we're not going to be willing to work with him on the expansive liberal agenda he's been about, but if he is serious about working with us on things like earmarks, for instance, which he said he would work with me on that, I'm absolutely hopeful we can do that.” (Fox News Sunday, 11/7/10)

November 2010: “We’re walking into the room with the realization that we're not going to agree with the President on everything. We understand that. But I do hope that we can, out of this meeting today, leave with a resolve to try and address the economy, and one of the most important things we can do there is to ensure that tax rates don't go up for anybody right now.” (The Today Show, 11/30/10)

November 2010: "I think it was a good meeting. I think perhaps it might be a positive start after what I believe is an historic election. There was recognition on both sides that what the people of this country want is to see Washington to begin working for the public again and to produce results.” (CNN, 11/30/10)

December 2010: “... we must not allow the urgency of the news cycle to force the demonization of ideas in their infancy. I believe that these type of efforts will set the stage for concrete action. “ (Press Release, 12/3/10)

January 2011: “Republicans come to Washington as a new Majority, looking to deliver results for the people of this country. When I spoke to the President yesterday, I told him, we are very interested in what he has to say in the next couple of weeks – especially when he comes up here to deliver the State of the Union address. I spoke to him specifically about the kind of spending cuts that I hope he proposes in that address. I told him also, that we'll be looking to see what type of ideas he's got for tax reform. The President acknowledged to me, there's a lot of competition in this world. Our economy is faltering right now and we have to get back in the game so America can start winning again.” (Press Release, 1/6/11)

January 2011: "Overall, the President talked about a way to a better future. I’m a father of three teenagers and that's certainly my first priority. There are a lot of areas that he and I will disagree. I think I’ll probably want to cut spending more than he does. I have a different view on how we improve health care in this country. But I do think that the President put forward some ideas that we Republicans can work with him on." (Press Release, 1/26/11)

February 2011: We can all work on this together, or it can stand out there as what it has been in the past, which is just a political target and an opportunity for those to score points like that. (Pen and Pad, 2/14/11)

March 2011: “Our Committees are hard at work now trying to ask the right questions of the regulators and insist upon a reasoned analysis, especially if you are going to put burdens on the people we’re relying upon to create jobs this country needs. This should not be adversarial. This should be something we are cooperative and can work together on with the single goal of trying to create and return prosperity.” (Remarks At Jobs Forum, 3/16/11)

March 2011: “The safe exploration and extraction of domestic resources can help create American jobs, generate millions of dollars in needed revenue, and reduce our reliance on foreign oil so that gas prices are lower for families and businesses. I hope Congress and the White House can work together on these measures that will provide a much-needed economic boost and relieve the pain at the pump for consumers nationwide. (Press Release, 3/29/11)

April 2011: “In December, in a bipartisan fashion, we worked together with this President to say that we weren't going to raise taxes. What we need now are more small businesses to jump into the game, to put their capital to work to create jobs. That's what our focus should be, about getting more Americans back to work.” (CNN, 4/13/11)

July 2011: “I think many of you recorded way back that the President had said one time that he was going to keep looking for something that he and Eric Cantor could agree on. I think this is that. I agree with him that we need to go and drive towards a deal, which is not a deal that kicks the can down the road. This is an opportunity for all of us to work together to deliver on our promise that we are going to get things straight here.” (Pen and Pad, 7/6/11)

September 2011: “We've got to focus on areas of commonality, try and transcend differences here. I think we need to build consensus and that's going to require us all not to impugn motives or to question patriotism." (CNN, 9/8/11)

September 2011: “Today, both the president and I will be in Richmond to talk about our top priority — creating jobs. There will be some areas where we agree, and some where we don't. Good people can disagree. But Virginians, like most Americans, expect us to act responsibly and work together so that the economy can grow and people can get back to work. In a divided government, we shouldn't allow our differences to prevent us from making progress on areas where we can agree. Focusing on areas of common ground will provide real results for the tens of millions of Americans currently out of work or struggling paycheck to paycheck. I stand ready to work with the president to get the economy back on track. “ (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/9/11)

GOP Health Care Reforms