Politics
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)  

Republican lawmakers blast Obama’s fiscal cliff speech

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain spoke on the Senate floor Monday to criticize President Obama’s speech on the fiscal cliff, claiming that the president might have jeopardized a developing agreement with comments that “clearly will antagonize members of the House.”

“I have to wonder, and I guess the American people have to wonder, if the president really wants this issue resolved, or if it’s to his short-term political benefits to go over the cliff,” McCain said.

“He kind of made fun, made a couple of jokes … sent a message of confrontation to the Republicans,” McCain said.

“Historians judge presidents by what happens on their watch,” McCain said, referring to the historical consequences of the fiscal cliff.

McCain also criticized the placement of Obama supporters at the event. “That’s not the way presidents should lead,” he said of the Americans who visibly cheered the president’s speech.

McCain spoke shortly after Tennessee GOP Sen. Bob Corker declared on the Senate floor that Obama likely lost congressional votes for the agreement with his remarks.

Corker declared, “I know the President has fun heckling Congress. … He probably lost some votes.”

Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson said Obama’s speech “set us back in civility and in leadership and in deal making” and “delayed what we’re trying to do today.”

Indiana Republican Rep. Todd Rokita tweeted after the president’s speech, “The President’s press conference is completely tone deaf. Not helpful to negotiations or solving our $16.5+ trillion in debt.”

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