President Barack Obama had a few words over the stimulus Thursday and a Democratic retreat in Virginia. He grabbed the Bully Pulpit and shook hit hard, perhaps hoping some compromise would break out. Instead, it became an off-the-cuff, verbal smackdown of his opposition.
A fired-upditched his TelePrompter to rally House Democrats and rip Republican opponents of his recovery package Thursday night – at one point openly mocking the for failing to follow through on promises of bipartisanship.
In what was the most pointedly partisan speech of his young presidency, Obama rejected Republican arguments that massive spending in the $819 billion stimulus bill that passed the House should be replaced by a new round of massive tax cuts.
“I welcome this debate, but we are not going to get relief by turning back to the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” said President Obama – sounding more like Candidate Obama than at any time since he took the oath of office less than a month ago.
Obama, speaking to about 200 House Democrats at their annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, dismissed Republican attacks against the massive spending in the stimulus.
“What do you think a stimulus is?” Obama asked incredulously. “It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.”