Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama Moves from Confrontation to Wooing Republicans. Will It Work?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama Moves from Confrontation to Wooing Republicans. Will It Work?

Article excerpt

President Obamas charm offensive with congressional Republicans continued Saturday with his weekly radio address.

Referring to GOP lawmakers as principled people who want whats best for this country, he noted that hell be meeting separately with House and Senate Republicans on their turf this coming week.

The fact is, America is a nation of different beliefs and different points of view. Thats what makes us strong, and frankly, makes our democratic debates messy and often frustrating, Mr. Obama said. But ultimately what makes us special is when we summon the ability to see past those differences, and come together around the belief that what binds us together will always be more powerful than what drives us apart.

Will it work? Republicans are skeptical.

In the Weekly Republican Address, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, senior Republican on the Budget Committee, says, I fear the Democrat proposal will fail this defining test and will never achieve balance."

"I fear it will crush American workers and our economy with trillions in new taxes, spending and debt, Sen. Sessions said. I fear [Senate Budget] Chairman Patty Murray will follow the President's lead: raising taxes to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people."

"Government has never been bigger or more out of control," he went on. Democrats say the problem is you; they say you are not sending them enough money; they say they have wisely spent every penny. So, you must just send them more. And, if you don't? Well, they won't stop spending, they'll just borrow more. These destructive policies cannot continue. We are at the breaking point."

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Just a week ago, Obama was using his regular Saturday broadcast pulpit to blame Republicans for the sequester fiasco.

"Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit," he said then. "They decided that protecting special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected is more important than protecting our military and middle-class families from these cuts."

It was the kind of rhetoric hed used for weeks as he traveled the country campaign-style trying to bend the GOP on new revenues. …

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