McCain questions Obama’s sincerity

December 31, 2012

Shortly after President Obama addressed the nation from the White House, his former presidential campaign opponent Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) delivered a blistering critique on the Senate floor, blaming the president for seeking short-term political gain at the expense of the nation’s economy.

“I’ve been around this town for a number of years, and as is well know, had an interest in the presidency more than academic,” McCain said as he began. He noted that his perch as a lawmaker has afforded him a chance to see several presidents handle national moments of crisis.

“But I must say, at a time of crisis on New Year’s Eve, when at midnight at least certain actions take place -- or have to be planned to take place -- we have a president of the United States go over and have a cheerleading, ridiculing of Republicans,” McCain said.

“As I watched other presidents address crises, the way that they were able to resolve them and resolve them with presidential leadership – and that’s why we elect presidents, to lead – they did it by calling the leaders of both parties to the White House, to sit around the table and do the negotiations and the discussions and they are sometimes concessions have to be made, compromises have to be made,” McCain noted.

“So what did the president of the United States just do? Well, he made a couple of jokes, laughed about how people are going to be here for New Year’s, sent a message of confrontation to the Republicans. I believe he said, if they think they’re going to do that, then they have another thought coming.

"I guess I have to wonder – and I think the American people have to wonder – whether the president really wants this issue resolved or is it to his short-term political benefit for us to go over the cliff. I can assure the president of the United States – I can assure him -- that historians judge presidents by their achievements.”

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.
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