Obama Takes On and Destroys John Boehner


During his speech on the economy in Cleveland, OH today, President Barack Obama destroyed what House Minority Leader John Boehner’s empty economic plan. Obama said, “There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas.”

In his speech President Obama called out John Boehner by name, “That’s what’s happening right now. A few weeks ago, the Republican leader of the House came here to Cleveland and offered his party’s answer to our economic challenges. Now, it would be one thing if he admitted his party’s mistakes during the eight years they were in power, and was offering a credible new approach to solving our country’s problems.”


He continued, “But that’s not what happened. There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy we already tried for the last decade – the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations. Instead of coming together like past generations did to build a better country for our children and grandchildren, their argument is that we should let insurance companies go back to denying care to folks who are sick, and let credit card companies go back to raising rates without any reason. Instead of setting our sights higher, they’re asking us to settle for a status quo of stagnant growth, eroding competitiveness, and a shrinking middle class.”

The President later laid out his vision, “I have a different vision for the future. I’ve never believed that government has all the answers to our problems. I’ve never believed that government’s role is to create jobs or prosperity. I believe it’s the drive and ingenuity of our entrepreneurs, the skill and dedication of our workers, that has made us the wealthiest nation on Earth. I believe it’s the private sector that must be the main engine of our recovery.”

President Obama called out Boehner and the Republicans for bashing the stimulus, but eagerly trying to take credit for it at home, “Mr. Boehner and the Republicans in Congress said no to these projects. Fought them tooth and nail. Though I should say that didn’t stop a lot of them from showing up at the ribbon-cutting ceremonies and trying to take credit. That’s always a sight to see.”

Obama hammered the Republicans for putting electoral calculus ahead of the good of the country, “Look, I recognize that most of the Republicans in Congress have said no to just about every policy I’ve proposed since taking office. And on some issues, I realize it’s because there are genuine philosophical differences. But on issues like this one, the only reason they’re holding this up is politics, pure and simple. They’re making the same calculation they made just before the inauguration: if I fail, they win. Well, they might think this will get them where they need to go in November, but it won’t get our country where it needs to go in the long run.”

The President slammed Boehner’s lack of fiscal responsibility, “But let’s look at the facts. When these same Republicans – including Mr. Boehner – were in charge, the number of earmarks and pet projects went up, not down. These same Republicans turned a record surplus that Bill Clinton left into a record deficit. Just this year, these same Republicans voted against a bipartisan fiscal commission that they themselves proposed. And when you ask them what programs they’d actually cut, they usually don’t have an answer. That’s not fiscal responsibility. That’s not a serious plan to govern.”

The President closed with a message of hope and reclaiming the American Dream, “That’s who we are. That is our legacy. And I’m convinced that if we’re willing to summon those values today; if we’re willing again to choose hope over fear; to choose the future over the past; to come together once more around the great project of national renewal, then we will restore our economy; rebuild our middle-class; and reclaim the American Dream for the next generation.”

This is the Obama that many Democrats have been waiting to see. He not only took on his critics, but he also laid out his vision for rebuilding the economy. It is starting to look like Boehner and the Republicans did the President a huge favor with his economic address. This president thrives when he is campaigning and he flourishes when he has someone to run against. The White House has been given an opponent, and Obama is running with it.

The way that Democrats will survive the midterm elections is by doing exactly what Obama did today. Democrats must paint the economic contrast between what they are offering and the GOP’s back to the future plan. The recurring theme throughout this speech was the Republican willingness to place politics ahead of the national interest, which allows the White House to position Obama up as the visionary leader rising above the same old Washington politics. Obama once again proved his complete ownership and mastery over the Republican Party. What we saw today was an example of the power of a charismatic president and the bully pulpit. The GOP can’t match these two resources and the White House should deploy them often and frequently from now until November.

The Full Text of Obama’s Cleveland Speech

22 Replies to “Obama Takes On and Destroys John Boehner”

  1. This was one of his best speeches since he took office. Amazing. JOBS JOBS JOBS. He stood up strongly for the middle class. He took on the GOP for voting no on their own ideas. He was simply on fire.

  2. I’m so impressed! I dunno why he’s been such a wuss until now, but it looks like he’s finally catching on… time to kick some sand back in their faces!

  3. He and other Democrats need to keep reminding Americans that the Party of No drove us into a ditch with policies that simply don’t work, and they have continued their destructive pattern by being obstructionists. This clown Boehner would be the Speaker of the House if the Republicans prevail in November, and his record as one of the main do-nothing obstructionists needs to be highlighted on a daily basis up to the day of the elections. He offers nothing except the discredited ideology that the Republicans insist on clinging to in spite of its proven record of failure. The president is at his absolute best when he comes out swinging like this.

  4. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS… Thanks for reminding everyone that this is what Obama cannot create. The unemployment will continue to rise and be the demise of the liberals come nov. for some pathetic reason I have not heard one liberal speak up and praise the health care bill passed. Can any one answer that question?
    Sara how come you don’t do an article on the health care bill passed? Are you afraid cause of the wool that has been pulled over the american people…
    The country is BROKE but Obama still wants to spend more money and raise taxes.
    Obama took up for the middle class in speech but unfortunately we are going to be the one that will truely change this country come Nov.

    Liberals it going to be fun ready this site come Nov…. what is going to be your excuse?

  5. Jaime I strongly suggest you go read this CBO report on jobs created by the stimulus and in the recent past three quarters. Instead of just talking the usual talking points try to become informed.

    You haven’t heard one liberal praise the health care bill? That is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever heard in my life.

  6. it was easy to see when Obama was campaigning that he was planning for the far future and not just the immediate needs.

    What I worked in the factory the common response to a problem was always let’s do this right now and then we’ll worry about it later. That seems to be the response of the public wants to see, and in part a response Wall Street wants to see. You cannot do that with something as massive as the United States and its economy, infrastructure and human relations.

    While this was an excellent speech I almost believe that Obama has to get a chalk board out( tell me I didn’t just say that) and draw out a path to where he is going. The resolution to problems don’t always seem to be the correct resolution when you’re planning for the future because they don’t fix immediate problems. And you cannot fix immediate problems without planning for the long-term. I think that is the way that Obama thinks, that being long-term for the country. And that is something that I am not sure the Republicans are capable of. I think the last president who could do that was Richard Nixon. Every president is involved in what are you doing right now to fix right now. The news beats them up for that, the opposition party beats them up for it instead of working together to create long-range plans. Everything is right now. And that’s no way to run a country

  7. Shiva
    show me 1 example of a democrat seeking re election this nov that is using the health care bill passed to get re elected…
    the liberals pulled the wool over the public’s eyes

  8. shiva
    also if jobs are being created then HOW IN THE HELL IS THE UNEMPLOYMENT RISING, hello
    I guess you believe saving jobs is the same as creating a job… get real

  9. No, again you should read the CBO report. And you must also understand jobs can be lost while jobs are being created. If able, think what the unemployment situation would be if the stimulus was not creating them.

    Job creation is one subject. Just ebcuiase you are creating jobs doesnt mean you cant lose them

    Job loss is another subject totally separate.

    Hope that helps.

  10. Yes, the liberals did some wool pulling didn’t they?

    They made it so the conservatives heros the healthcare providers could not deny children health insurance.

    they made it so that Americans who have certain pre-existing conditions could have insurance without being canceled or denied.

    The healthcare bill lowers the deficit while the Conservatives are intent upon increasing it.

    those darned wool pulling liberals. show me one conservative who ran on their heroes to healthcare providers constantly raising prices for the last 15 years.

  11. keep drinking the kool aid… they have you fooled but there will be no more fooling the american people come nov.
    look lets get real… why in the hell are some many important Obama people leaving..
    ie. Romer she all of a sudden wanted to be with her family, hell no she doesn’t agree with the way economy is headed
    Rahm is going to bolt to run for the mayor cause THE SHIP IS SINKING
    the american people won’t be fooled any longer… sorry shiva you will have to go back to the blame game

  12. The only ones drinking any kool-aid are those who believe that the Party of No will do anything other than implement their failed policies that led us into this mess to begin with. They are counting on short memories and self-deception in order to prevail in November.

  13. anne
    remind me who in the world has been in control of the house and senate?
    but not for long come Nov.
    the congress in the one who got us in this mess to start with let me remind you
    nice try….

  14. I have to be honest, I haven’t liked the lack of presence I’ve felt over the last 2 years. I really expected him to come out guns blazing and heads a rolling. None of that happened. Sure we got healthcare passed but at what cost? We lost our freedom to “choose” and are now “forced” to take healthcare or be penalized. Don’t get me wrong. I love the president and am proud to have elected him. The alternative was a much greater evil even with hindsight being 20/20 – we’re way better off as we are now. Now I find myself disappointed I missed this speech live, I promise when I get home later I’m going to check it out online :) As always, thanks for your wonderfully written article!

  15. Obviously you arnt capable of being in possession of facts, just talking points and very little of that.

    The blame game? How can I blame someone that was never there?

    Its funny to watch you!

  16. Jamie, don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. Besides, if the Party of No does manage to take over, rest assured that they don’t care about you any more than they do anyone else who is not among the wealthy. While it’s true that Democrats have dominated Congress since 2007, too much time and political capital have been expended on trying to work with the do-nothing, obstructionist Party of No. They have been aiming for Obama’s failure, not caring in the least about the people who have been hurt as a consequence of their short-sighted selfishness. They have done everything but shout that they just don’t give a rat’s behind about Americans, in spite of all their posturing about how patriotic and pious they are.

  17. And the people in the congress who got us into this mess are the ones you want back in. The ones who deregulated the banks. The ones who approved the ownership society in housing.

    Oooooooo got a warm feeling down you leg yet?

  18. BTW jamie, speaking of jobs, to let you see what you support, and I know you dont know who they are, are the ones who just refused to help pass a small business bill that would help companies hire. Tell us the truth Jamie, you dont want jobs now do you?

  19. Well…if the political pundits are correct and the Republicans regain control of Congress, then I expect to be tapping my foot impatiently awaiting the immediate and miraculous resurrection of economy.

  20. shiva
    have you lost your mind about the housing market… Franks, Dodd making Freddie and Fannie finance anyone capable of fogging a mirror. Give me a break your party made it a point for everyone to be a home owner now look the mess that the housing market is in.
    Get your facts straight before you start finger pointing
    Scott, get a life your party has plenty of time to get this mess straightened out just ask the american people come Nov.

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