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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Outstretched Hand and the Clenched Fist

Roll Call reports:

The president said his party has “already tried the other side’s ideas” and that Democrats “already know where their theories led us. … We can return to the failed economic policies of the past, or we can keep building a stronger future.”

House Republicans whom the White House has previously looked to for bipartisan help say comments like these are the reason Obama’s vows to work together fall on deaf ears on the Hill.

“A day doesn’t go by where we don’t hear one thing and see another. The outstretched hand by the left with the clenched clock across the face by the right. … It just seems to be their method of doing things,” Budget ranking member Paul Ryan said.

The Wisconsin lawmaker, whom Obama has publicly praised for his willingness to work across party lines, said the president’s words never translated into a White House effort to work together behind the scenes.

“He would say nice things about me publicly, but there was never actual outreach,” Ryan said. “I used to think there was going to be follow-up, but now I just accept it hasn’t happened. … We have yet to see any action that suggests he’s sincere about compromise.”