During Friday afternoon's edition of his radio talk show, host Rush Limbaugh rejected the charge made by President Barack Obama that most Republican members of Congress have told him that privately they agree with his desire to fund ObamaCare but fear a backlash from the Tea Party and “what Limbaugh would say about me on the radio.”
The conservative host called the president's claim “silly because he's getting everything he wants” and then stated that “the true irony of this is the Republicans are not listening to me,” but Obama "has to blame somebody” for his lack of accomplishments during his second term.
The clash began on Friday morning's edition of CNN's New Day program, when co-host Chris Cuomo interviewed the Democratic occupant of the White House.
Not surprisingly, Obama blamed the Republicans in Congress as the reason little progress has been made since they took control of the House of Representatives three years ago:
Congress doesn’t have a whole lot of core responsibilities. One core responsibility is passing a budget, which they have not done yet. The other core responsibility that they’ve got is to pay the bills that they’ve already accrued.
Of course, he never mentioned the actual reason Congress has had no budget: The Senate, under Democratic majority leader Harry Reid, completely refused to bring up any sort of budget bills within his chamber even though the Republican-led House of Representatives passed one every single year of Obama's presidency.
Nevertheless, Obama said that “if Congress does those things when they get back” to Washington, D.C., after their summer vacation, then “the economy can continue to recover, and folks out there who are working hard or trying to find a job will have some sense of stability.”
At that point, Cuomo asked: “How much of the lack of action in Washington do you put on yourself in terms of blame?”
Ultimately, the buck stops with me, and so, any time we are not moving forward on things that should be simple, I get frustrated, and I’ve said before and I continue to say I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get Congress -- and Republicans in Congress in particular -- to think less about politics and party and think more about what’s good for the country.
Obama continued: “And then finally, what we've got is Republicans talking about the idea that they would shut down the government,” which would be “bad for the economy, bad for not just people who work for the government but all the contractors who, and the defense folks, and everybody who is impacted by the services that they receive from the federal government.”
“We should shut that down because Republicans, after having taken 40 votes to try to get rid of ObamaCare, see this as their 'last gasp.'” he noted.
The president then stated:
Nobody thinks that's good for the middle class, and I’ve made this argument to my Republican friends privately, and by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, “I agree with you, but I’m worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the Tea Party back in my district,” or “I’m worried about what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about me on the radio. And so you've got to understand it's really difficult.”
“I can't force these folks to do what's right for the American people, but what I sure as heck can do is stay focused on what I know will be good for the American people,” Obama added.
Several hours later, Limbaugh began his program by stating that the president had “once again blamed me for the gridlock in Washington. I am the reason he can't move his agenda forward, which of course is silly because he's getting everything he wants."
“It's like a broken record,” the host continued, stating that the president is now falling back on “his greatest hits.”
Obama is “going back and recycled this old idea that Republicans are not cooperating with him because they're afraid of what I'm going to say about them,” Limbaugh stated.
“The true irony of this is the Republicans are not listening to me!” he continued. “I don't know who they're listening to, outside of their consultants.”
“We've seen it all before, we've heard it all before,” added Limbaugh, who described the Obama interview as “embarrassing" and accused Obama of "making up" the notion that many Republicans tell the president that they support him but can't do so openly because it's too dangerous politically.
Blaming members of the opposing political party for unsolved problems is a dusty, old tactic. Could it be that Obama has gone back to using it in a desperate effort to stave off his status as a “lame duck,” someone who's just occupying the Oval Office until the winner of the 2106 presidential campaign comes along? One wonders how seriously Obama must believe his argument in light of the fact that the GOP has now in two consecutive presidential elections chosen as its nominee candidates who were not preferred by Limbaugh, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012.