They Said It!

- September 20, 2012

Despite Being President For The Past Four Years, Obama Says You Can't Change Washington From The Inside

Obama: "The most important lesson I've learned is that you can't change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside." (President Barack Obama, Univision Town Hall, Miami, FL, 9/20/12)


Obama In 2008: "We Know That The Time For Change Has Come." OBAMA: "Because at this defining moment in our history - with our nation at war, and our economy in recession - we know that the American people cannot afford four more years of the same failed policies and the same old politics in Washington. We know that the time for change has come." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks, Springfield, IL, 8/23/08)

Obama: " Washington Is Broken. My Whole Campaign Has Been Premised From The Start On The Idea That We Have To Fundamentally Change How Washington Works." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At ServiceNation Summit, New York, NY, 9/11/08)


The Washington Post 's Dana Milbank: "The president came here to change Washington and Washington has changed him." (CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," 3/8/12)

Obama Has Been "Unable To Bridge A Political Divide That Had Only Grown Wider Since He Took Office With A Promise To Change The Ways Of Washington…" "A president who promised to bring the country together, who confidently presented himself as the transformational figure able to make that happen, now had his chance. But, like earlier policy battles, the debt ceiling negotiations revealed a divided figure, a man who remained aloof from a Congress where he once served and that he now needed. He was caught between his own aspirations for historical significance and his inherent political caution. And he was unable to bridge a political divide that had only grown wider since he took office with a promise to change the ways of Washington, underscoring the gulf between the way he campaigned and the way he had governed ." (Peter Wallsten, Lori Montgomery, and Scott Wilson, "Obama's Evolution: Behind The Failed 'Grand Bargain' On The Debt," The Washington Post, 3/17/12)

Obama Admitted Washington Is Stuck With "More Of The Same," And "Maybe A Little Worse." CNN's WOLF BLITZER: "When we spoke here end of 2008, 'hope and change.' You know what I see in Washington still to this day? OBAMA: "More of the same." BLITZER: "The same old same old." OBAMA: "Yeah." BLITZER: "A lot of bickering, backstabbing." OBAMA: "Maybe a little worse." (CNN's " The Situation Room," 8/16/11)

"For All His Talk About Moving Beyond Conventional Political Tricks," Obama Is "Doing Just That." "The second is that Barack Obama, for all his talk of moving beyond conventional political tricks, is doing just that, which wouldn't be so glaring had it not been for his incessant call for a newer, cleaner and more transparent paradigm for American politics." (Jim VandeHei, "The Political Transformation," Politico, 2/9/12)

Obama Has Made A Series Of "Calculated, Overtly Political Gestures That Are Far More Transactional Than Transformational." "But what's transpired over the past several weeks isn't debatable: He's made a series of calculated, overtly political gestures that are far more transactional than transformational." (Jim VandeHei, "The Political Transformation," Politico, 2/9/12) "[I]t's Simply A Fact That The President Failed At 'Bringing Democrats And Republicans Together.'" "To be sure, the president did sign the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, but it wasn't enacted by 'bringing Democrats and Republicans together.' The bill passed the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009, by a vote of 60-39, without any Republicans voting for it. And when the House passed its version of the bill almost three months later, by a vote of 219-212, it too garnered no support from Republicans. We won't offer any opinion about whether one side is more to blame than the other for that, but it's simply a fact that the president failed at 'bringing Democrats and Republicans together.'" (D'Angelo Gore, "Promises, Promises," Fact, 1/4/12)

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz: "That the country is polarized is beyond question. Obama has proven to be a divisive president, despite his insistence that he is open to compromise and accommodation." (Dan Balz, "Roberts's Health-Care Ruling Sends A Message To Politicians," The Washington Post, 6/30/12)

Obama's Failure To Transcend Washington Partisanship "Has Never Been More Glaringly Obvious." "Candidate Barack Obama promised to transcend Washington partisanship. President Obama plummeted into it. As the House returns Tuesday for the final session of his first term, Obama's failure to fulfill this central claim of his 2008 campaign has never been more glaringly obvious." (Carrie Budoff Brown and Jonathan Allen, "Partisan D.C.: Obama's Broken Promise," Politico, 1/17/12)

"The Hard Truth Is That Washington Next Year Will Look Indistinguishable From The One Obama Warned Against During His Election-Night Victory Speech…" "The hard truth is that Washington next year will look indistinguishable from the one Obama warned against during his election-night victory speech, when he called on Republicans and Democrats to 'resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.'" (Carrie Budoff Brown and Jonathan Allen, "Partisan D.C.: Obama's Broken Promise," Politico, 1/17/12)

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