Obama: 'You Can't Change Washington From the Inside'
And Mitt Romney quickly pounces
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2012 8:32 PM CDT
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(Newser) – This one is shaping up to be the soundbite of the day, courtesy of President Obama. At a Univision forum in Miami, the president said this when reflecting on his first term:

  • “I think that I’ve learned some lessons over the last four years, and 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. That’s how I got elected. And that’s how the big accomplishments like health care got done.”
Cue Mitt Romney, who sounded like a man very happy to deflect attention from some soundbites of his own:
  • "I couldn't believe it when the president of the United States said he couldn't get change from the inside," Romney said, as per the Hill. Obama's slogan, he added, has gone from “Yes we can” to “No I can’t.”
  • And: "I can change Washington, I will change Washington. We'll get the job from the inside. Republicans and Democrats will come together."

Other reaction:

  • From the right: "The President of the United States is powerless to influence Washington’s inner workings?" asks Erika Johnsen at Hot Air. "I thought that was supposed to be the entire point of America electing him?"
  • From the left: Come on, Obama has said much the same thing before, and he'll say it again, writes Jed Lewison at Daily Kos. And Romney thinks he can create change by uniting the country? "This is a guy who can't even get Republicans on his side. This is a guy who appeared at a fundraiser earlier this year and sneeringly dismissed half of Americans as worthless moochers who will never, ever support him."
  • Neutral ground: Maggie Haberman at Politico finds Obama's comment "surprising" for an incumbent. "If the small pool of persuadable voters see Obama as saying Washington is irretrievably broken, even for him, they could be open to a fresh case from his opponent."
  • Deja vu: "I don't think you change Washington from the inside. I think you change it from the outside." Mitt Romney, 2007, as noted by Politico.

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Sep 21, 2012 4:51 PM CDT
no shit sherlock
Sep 21, 2012 4:11 PM CDT
WHY does Obama want to CHANGE the red State Republicans? In Obama's own words, "We are not red States and blue States, we are the United States. and We are not Democrats and Republicans, we are Americans. and I don't represent 47% of Americans, I represent ALL Americans." NOW he says he can't work with Republicans because they won't CHANGE for him? This from the President who carried and bounced a basketball all the way through his student and adult years, which shows lack of critical thinking skills, with serious mental issues. These mental problems prevent Obama from compromise on critical issues. Obama needs some Psychiatric help....... I observed this from what he did, and what he said....... In four years he didn't learn anything, and without mental help, he won't learn anything in another four years.
Sep 21, 2012 3:24 PM CDT
Well let's all help him get on the outside where he can do more good (sarcastic grin). "I think I've learned some lessons over the past four years..." Well I for one am so glad you had the opportunity for on the job training your first term. Not sure though the rest of us can afford your continuing education during the next four.