Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who is in line to become a powerful committee leader should Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, made some waves last week when he said he wanted to work with President Obama after the midterm elections. “We have a real opportunity to get some things done,” he told the Wall Street Journal. Issa quickly refined his position, however, later telling ABC’s Top Line that “the word ‘compromise’ has been misunderstood.” He clarified that his job will be “getting America back to the center right where it exists.”
It seems the Republican leadership agrees with Issa — there will only be compromise if the President agrees to everything it wants. According to a Washington Post profile published yesterday, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) “let out a long sigh when asked where he would look to work with Obama,” and then said “I came here to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government, and to the extent that [Obama] wants to work with us in terms of where we’re going, I would certainly welcome it.” On Sean Hannity’s radio show yesterday, he made it much more explicit: “This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles,” he said.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), appearing on CNN’s Parker Spitzer last night, was equally as strident, saying that in 1994 when the Republicans took control of Congress “there was altogether too much compromise,” and promised that “there will be no compromise” if Republicans take control after the midterms, specifically on issues like “repealing ObamaCare lock stock and barrel.” Watch it:
Polls show Americans want Republicans and Democrats to work together in order to achieve progress on major issues, and at a meeting with some progressive bloggers at the White House yesterday, President Obama said he was willing to do that:
THE PRESIDENT: Look, the — I’m a pretty stubborn guy when it comes to, on the one hand, trying to get cooperation. I don’t give up just because I didn’t get cooperation on this issue; I’ll try the next issue. If the Republicans don’t agree with me on fiscal policy, maybe they’ll agree with me on infrastructure. If they don’t agree with me on infrastructure, I’ll try to see if they agree with me on education.
So I’m just going to keep on trying to see where they want to move the country forward.
If Obama “wants to see where they want to move the country,” GOP leaders are making clear they’re less interested in moving it than in defeating him.