The nation shouldn’t be debating the nation’s health-care system or the jihadi attack in Benghazi in 2012, President Barack Obama complained at a May 19 fundraiser in Maryland.
“Yes, we can have a legitimate debate about does every government program work … [but] the debate we’re having right now is about, what, Benghazi? Obamacare?” Obama told his donors in the wealthy Potomac district of Maryland.
“It’s not serious [and] is not speaking to the real concerns that people have,” Obama insisted.
Obama’s effort to change the subject came a few hours after a survey by a friendly political media site showed that only 39 percent of respondents agreed that “the debate on Obamacare should be over,” as Obama insists.
Sixty percent of Americans in the survey said the debate should not be over.
The survey, by Politico, reported that Obama’s job rating is only 40 percent in the states that will have critical Senate races this year.
The poll also showed that voters generally oppose the Obamacare network. Eighty-nine percent of respondents said Obamacare is important to their vote, but only 16 percent support the law “as it is,” said the poll. Forty-six percent want to repeal the law, and 35 percent want to modify the law.
The poll did not survey Americans about the still mysterious background to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic site in Benghazi. The September 2012 attack killed four Americans, and drove the U.S. out of the city, giving local jihadi groups a base where they could prepare other attacks in Algeria, Nigeria, Mali and other African countries.
Obama’s policy decisions in the years and the months prior to the Benghazi assault are hidden largely because his deputies have tried to blame White House policy errors on underlings.
Obama’s complaints about the public’s debate over Obamacare and Benghazi came after he insisted to donors that his policies — such as doubled immigration of low-skill workers — would help the nation’s economy recover after the 2007 collapse of the government-created property bubble.
“The problem is not that we lack solutions. … The problem we have is… one party in Congress right now that has been captured by ideologues,” Obama complained. Republicans “fundamentally believe that the problem is government [and] don’t believe that we as a community, as a country have any serious role to play in giving people a hand up,” he told the donors.
Their “principal focus at any given point in the day is trying to figure out how can they make people sufficiently cynical, sufficiently angry, sufficiently suspicious that they can win the next election” by driving down turnout, he insisted.
“I hate to be blunt about it, but that’s the play,” said Obama, who is trying various tactics to spur Democratic turnout in November.
But Obama also lashed at his supporters for not turning out in midterm elections as in presidential elections. “We turn out during presidential elections; we don’t in midterms,” he complained.
The May 19 Politico poll also showed that 46 percent of respondents said they would likely back GOP candidates in November, while only 38 percent said they would back a Democratic candidate.
So far, GOP leaders have focused the public debates on issues that help the GOP, while avoiding issues — such as increased immigration — that could split the party.