Obama: Let's Stop the 'Extortion'
President blasts 'extreme parts' of the GOP at news conference
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2013 2:33 PM CDT
President Obama listens while speaking during his press conference Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama took full advantage of a presidential news conference this afternoon to amplify a familiar point: He thinks what Republicans are doing amounts to "extortion," and he won't negotiate on anything until they pass a spending bill to reopen the government and agree to raise the debt ceiling without conditions. Among the highlights from CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post:

  • “Let’s stop the excuses. Let’s take a vote in the House. Let’s end this shutdown right now.”
  • "If Republicans want to talk about these things again, I'm ready to head up to the Hill and try. I'll even spring for dinner again. But I'm not gonna do it until the more extreme parts of the Republican party stop forcing John Boehner to issue threats about our economy. We can't make extortion routine as part of our democracy. Democracy doesn't function this way."
  • He said he told Boehner "that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations, shouldn't require hanging the threats of an economic shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people."
  • "The American people don't get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don't get a chance to call your bank and say, 'I'm not gonna pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an X-Box."
  • A debt default could “permanently increase our borrowing costs,” and "there’s nothing fiscally responsible about that." Failure to raise the debt ceiling creates the "significant risk of a very deep recession," he said. It would be "insane."
  • Read the full transcript.

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Showing 3 of 374 comments
KDickley
Oct 10, 2013 10:31 PM CDT
President Obobo the clown, Attorney General Eric "Fast & Furious" Holder, Harry Reid, and all the other POS demwits have been guilty of extortion against the American people, and they should all be in prison.
sunniladi
Oct 10, 2013 4:29 AM CDT
courtesy of yahoo! news, entitled, "DEMOCRATS TO AMERICA: WE OWN THE GOVERNMENT!": "In the current fight over the government shutdown, Republicans are simply representing the views of the American people. Americans didn't ask for Obamacare, they don't want it, but now their insurance premiums are going through the roof, their doctors aren't accepting it, and their employers are moving them into part-time work -- or firing them -- to avoid the law's mandates. Contrary to Obama's promises, it turns out: You can't keep your doctor, you can't keep your insurance -- you can't even keep your job. In other words, it's a typical government program, but this one wrecks your health care. Also, the president did raise taxes on the middle class in defiance of his well-worn campaign promise not to. Indeed, Obamacare is the largest tax hike in U.S. history. Among the other changes effected by this law are: -- Obamacare will allow insurers to charge 50 percent higher premiums for smokers, but prohibits insurers from increasing premiums for those with HIV/AIDS. -- Nationally, Obamacare will increase men's individual insurance premiums by an average of 99 percent and women's by 62 percent. In North Carolina, for example, individual insurance premiums will triple for women and quadruple for men. -- Health plans valued at $27,500 or more for a family of four will be taxed at a rate of 40 percent. -- No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare. -- A 62-year-old man earning $46,000 a year is entitled to a $7,836 government tax credit to buy health insurance. But if he earns an extra $22 in income, he loses the entire $7,836 credit. He will have more take-home pay by earning $46,000 than if he earns $55,000. (If he's lucky, he already works for one of the companies forced by Obamacare to reduce employees' hours!) -- Merely to be eligible for millions of dollars in grants from the federal government under Obamacare, education and training programs are required to meet racial, ethnic, gender, linguistic and sexual orientation quotas. That's going to make health care MUCH better! -- Obamacare is turning America into a part-time nation. According to a recent report by economist John Lott, 97 percent of all jobs added to the economy so far this year have been part-time jobs. Ninety-seven percent! -- Obamacare is such a disaster that the people who wrote it refuse to live under it themselves. That's right, Congress won a waiver from Obamacare. Responding to the people's will, House Republicans first voted to fund all of government -- except Obamacare. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it. Then the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but merely delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it. Finally, the Republicans voted to fully fund the government, but added a requirement that everyone live under Obamacare. No more special waivers for Congress and their staff, and no waivers for big business without the same waivers for individuals. Obama refused to negotiate and Senate Democrats refused to pass it. So as you can see, Republicans are the big holdup here. A longtime Democratic operative, Karen Finney, explained the Democrats' intransigence on MSNBC to a delighted Joan Walsh (aka the most easily fooled person on TV) by comparing House Republicans to a teenager trying to borrow his mother's car. "No, I'm not negotiating!" Mother says. "It's MY CAR!" This wasn't a stupid slip of the tongue that other Democrats quickly rejected. Finney had used the exact same metaphor to a panel of highly agreeable MSNBC guests the day before. (MSNBC books no other kind of guest.) The left thinks the government is their car and the people's representatives are obstreperous teenagers trying to borrow the government. Which belongs to Democrats. That's not how the Constitution views the House of Representatives. To the contrary, the House is considered most reflective of the people's will because its members are elected every two years. As a matter of fact, the Republicans who mistakenly assume they have something to do with running the government represent most of the people who pay taxes to run it. So it's more like a teenager who is making the car payments, maintaining the car insurance and taking responsibility for registering the car being told: "It's not your car." But the Democrats refuse to even negotiate. It's their government -- and if you Republicans think you're going out dressed like that, you've got another thing coming! Needless to say, they absolutely will not consider the Republicans' demand that Democrats merely live under Obamacare themselves. Instead, Democrats say "the Koch brothers" are behind the effort to defund Obamacare. They say Republicans are trying to "burn the whole house down" (Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz); "have lost their minds" (Sen. Harry Reid); are trying to negotiate "with a bomb strapped to their chest" (senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer); are "legislative arsonists" (Rep. Nancy Pelosi); and are engaging in "blatant extortion" (White House press secretary Jay Carney). The MSNBC crowd calls Republicans "arsonists" every 15 minutes. They ought to check with fellow MSNBC host Al Sharpton. He knows his arsonists! In 1995, Sharpton whipped up a mob outside the Jewish-owned Freddy's Fashion Mart with an anti-Semitic speech. Sometime later, a member of the mob torched the store, killing seven Hispanic employees. Every single Democrat in the country uses the exact same talking point: We "refuse to negotiate with a gun being held to our head." Which means that the Democrats will engage in no negotiation at all -- not now, not ever. House Republicans have already passed three-dozen bills defunding, or otherwise modifying, Obamacare. Senate Democrats and liberal commentators had a good laugh at Republicans for passing them. Now they're paying attention! If you are in the minority of Americans not already unalterably opposed to Obamacare, keep in mind that the only reason the government is shut down right now is that Democrats refuse to fund the government if they are required to live under Obamacare. That's how good it is!"
TiredOfLies
Oct 10, 2013 12:28 AM CDT
Who is the one extorting whom Mr. President? Is refusing to negotiate until AFTER you get what you demand (and the damage is already done) any better? We aren't all politicians. How about BEING a man of integrity instead of just using the rhetoric. "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." - Senator Obama in 2006 What was the debt before you took over? What is it today? Tell us what you really believe before you're voted in, and then have the integrity to follow through on your campaign promises. You yourself said "Leadership means that the buck stops here." We are sick and tired of the bait & switch. Wait until the people find out the truth about how Obamacare will affect them personally. You are making history all right, but what type of history remains to be seen. What a sad time for our country.