The Washington Post

Oklahoma lawmaker promises to get in ‘a president’s face’

How much do Republicans dislike President Obama? A whole lot. And here’s another sign.

Two recent ads from Oklahoma Rep. John Sullivan (R) promise that the lawmaker will “get in your face if you’re wrong — even a president’s face.” Here’s “Care”:

His new ad, “Nancy Pelosi,” uses the same line. Sullivan also suggested at a February town hall that “killing a couple of senators” would help Congress pass a budget. He later apologized.

The ads are reminiscent of one made by freshman Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) during the 2010 election. The candidate called Obama “the worst president in history.”

And they also call to mind much of the rhetoric in the Republican presidential primary in which a series of candidates (or potential candidates) — from Donald Trump to Rick Perry to Newt Gingrich — rose in the polls on the strength of their willingness to attack President Obama in aggressive and often personal terms.

Oklahoma is one of the most anti-Obama states in the country.Even Democrats in the state are hostile to the incumbent; in the state’s presidential primary, Obama lost 15 counties.

Sullivan faces a primary challenger, veteran Jim Bridenstine, who argues that Sullivan isn’t conservative enough. But he told a local paper earlier this week that he was more concerned about the next Congress.

“There is no congeniality or camaraderie,” he said. “There are Democrats I personally like. I don’t vote with them but I like them. Now, too often, politics has become a blood sport and it doesn’t need to be that way.”

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


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