Straw Man Watch

"The Straw Man fallacy involves the attribution or assumption of a position, which is then attacked or dismissed, The problem is that the position dismissed by the argument is not the real 'man' or 'person', but a caricature of the real position held."—Christopher W. Tindale, Fallacies and Argument Appraisal, January 2007

Obama’s Straw Man Attacks

And to those of you who are in the financial sector, let me say this, we will not always see eye to eye.  We will not always agree.  But that doesn’t mean that we’ve got to choose between two extremes.  We do not have to choose between markets that are unfettered by even modest protections against crisis, or markets that are stymied by onerous rules that suppress enterprise and innovation.  That is a false choice.  And we need no more proof than the crisis that we’ve just been through.

 Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President on Wall Street Reform," Cooper Union, New York, NY, April 22, 2010
Rebuttal:

Republican Committee on Financial Services: "GOP wants financial regulatory reform to stop the bailouts, protect consumers, reform Fannie & Freddie," http://is.gd/bN5Xf

We can’t afford to let the same phony arguments and bad habits of Washington kill financial reform and leave American consumers and our economy vulnerable to another meltdown. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Weekly Address: President Obama Applauds Important Step Forward on Financial Reform," December 12, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Ed Royce (R, CA-40), "Wall Street Reform Ignores For Meltdown," Investor's Business Daily, December 9, 2009,  http://bit.ly/6s6WF1
"We cannot simply go back to the way things used to be.  We can't go back to an economy that yielded cycle after cycle of speculative booms and painful busts.  We can't continue to accept an education system in which our students trail their peers in other countries, and a health care system in which exploding costs put our businesses at a competitive disadvantage.  And we cannot continue to ignore the clean energy challenge or cede global leadership in the emerging industries of the 21st century." Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President on Job Creation and Economic Growth," The Brookings Institute, Washington, DC, December 8, 2009
"But what I reject, what I don't have a lot of sympathy for is folks who are just sitting on the sidelines and rooting for failure, whether it's on health care, or energy, or the economy.  (Applause.)  What I reject is when some folks suggest that we go back to the policies that got us in the mess in the first place -- as if we didn’t just go through what we've been going through."
 Rquo
(President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DNC Fundraiser Dinner," Mandarin Oriental Hotel, New York, NY, October 21, 2009)
Rebuttal: "Offering Smart Solutions," GOP Solutions for America,  http://bit.ly/Ou6cm
"But it's important for all of us to remember what the situation was when we came in nine months ago, because there's some people out there who seem to have a selective memory.  There's sort of a revisionist history about what was waiting for us when we began this presidency."
 Rquo
(President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DNC Fundraiser," The Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY, October 21, 2009)
"What I reject is when some folks, all they've got to say is, let's go back and do the things that we were doing that got us into this mess in the first place.  (Applause.)  That's all -- that's all they've got to say.  Like we forgot." Rquo
(President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DNC Fundraiser," The Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY, October 21, 2009)
Rebuttal: "Offering Smart Solutions," GOP Solutions for America,  http://bit.ly/Ou6cm
"You know, the other side, they just kind of -- sometimes -- do what they're told.  (Laughter.)  Democrats, you all are thinking for yourselves."  
 Rquo
(President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DNC Fundraiser," The Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY, October 21, 2009)
Rebuttal: "Offering Smart Solutions," GOP Solutions for America,  http://bit.ly/Ou6cm
"I'm telling you, these folks, they got a lot of nerve.  They leave this big mess and suddenly they're complaining about how fast we're cleaning it up." Rquo
(President Barack Obama, "Remarks at Corzine for Governor Rally," Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ, October 21, 2009)
"See, some of our opponents, they seem to think that they could wear us down."
 Rquo
(President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DNC Fundraising Dinner," Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA, October 15, 2009)
At such a difficult moment, there are those who say we can't afford to invest in science, that it's a luxury at a moment defined by necessities. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks at the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation Ceremony, White House, Washington, D.C., October 7, 2009
But this is the hard part. This is when the special interests gear up. This is when the folks who want to kill reform fight back with everything they’ve got. This is when they spread all kinds of rumors to scare and intimidate Americans. This is what they always do. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at a Rally on Health Insurance Reform," University of Maryland, College Park, MD, September 17, 2009
Rebuttal: Lachlan Markay, "Media Myth: GOP Has No Health Care Ideas," Media Research Center: NewsBusters, September 13, 2009,  http://bit.ly/17xO4d
But know this: I will not waste time with those who've made the calculation that it’s better to kill health reform than to improve our health care system. (Applause.) I won't stand by while special interests do the same old tricks to keep things exactly the way they are. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at a Rally on Health Insurance Reform," University of Maryland, College Park, MD, September 17, 2009
Rebuttal: Senator John Cornyn Delivers Weekly GOP Radio Address,"  http://bit.ly/ZrW9I, and "Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009, http://is.gd/382aR
Well, look, I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now. The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at a Rally on Health Insurance Reform," University of Maryland, College Park, MD, September 17, 2009
Rebuttal: Lachlan Markay, "Media Myth: GOP Has No Health Care Ideas," Media Research Center: NewsBusters, September 13, 2009,  http://bit.ly/17xO4d
But too often during this important debate we’ve also seen the same partisan spectacle that has left so many people disappointed about Washington. Too many engage in scare tactics instead of honest debates. Too many use this as an opportunity to score short-term political points instead of working together to solve a long-term challenge. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at a Rally on Health Insurance Reform," University of Maryland, College Park, MD, September 17, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009, http://bit.ly/OkQpe
But, Terps, we can’t stop there. There are still those in Washington who are resistant to change -- who are more willing to defend the status quo then address the real concerns of the American people. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at a Rally on Health Insurance Reform," University of Maryland, College Park, MD, September 17, 2009
Rebuttal: Lachlan Markay, "Media Myth: GOP Has No Health Care Ideas," Media Research Center: NewsBusters, September 13, 2009,  http://bit.ly/17xO4d
We've heard scare tactics instead of honest debate.  Too many have used this opportunity to score short-term political points instead of working together to solve long-term challenges. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at a Rally on Health Insurance Reform," Target Center, Minneapolis, MN, September 12, 2009
Rebuttal: Lachlan Markay, "Media Myth: GOP Has No Health Care Ideas," Media Research Center: NewsBusters, September 13, 2009,  http://bit.ly/17xO4d
There are some who see this pain and suggest that somehow it's inevitable -- that the only way for America to get ahead is for communities like yours to be left behind. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to General Motors Plant Employees," General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant, Warren, OH, September 15, 2009
And I want to say to all the senior citizens out there, don't let these folks scare you about Medicare. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at Fundraising Event for Senator Arlen Specter," Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, September 15, 2009
Well I think right now you've got just a political environment where there are those in the Republican Party who think the best thing to do is just to kill reform. That will be good politics. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Interview with Steve Kroft, '60 Minutes,'" CBS, September 11, 2009
Rebuttal: Lachlan Markay, "Media Myth: GOP Has No Health Care Ideas," Media Research Center: NewsBusters, September 13, 2009,  http://bit.ly/17xO4d
Now, amid all the chatter and the noise on radio and TV, with all the falsehoods that are promoted by not just talk show hosts but sometimes prominent politicians, sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of what the debate over reform is all about. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks on Health Insurance Reform," Eisenhower Executive Office Building," Washington, D.C., September 10, 2009
Rebuttal: Rep. Boustany Delivers Republican Health Care Address,"  House Republican Leader Website, http://bit.ly/tTGmj
On the right, there are those who argue that we should end employer-based systems and leave individuals to buy health insurance on their own. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care," U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009
Rebuttal: Rep. Paul Ryan (WI), The Patient's Choice Act, May 2009,  http://bit.ly/Q79vH
But we've also seen in these last months is the same partisan spectacle that only hardens the disdain many Americans have towards their own government. Instead of honest debate, we've seen scare tactics. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenged. And out of this blizzard of charges and counter-charges, confusion has reigned. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care," U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009, http://bit.ly/OkQpe
Still, given all the misinformation that's been spread over the past few months, I realize -- (applause) -- I realize that many Americans have grown nervous about reform. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care," U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009
Rebuttal: Myth Vs. Fact: President's Address to Congress," The Republican Congressional Conference, September 9, 2009, http://bit.ly/AbxJG
Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care," U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009,  http://bit.ly/OkQpe
So don't pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut, especially since some of the same folks who are spreading these tall tales have fought against Medicare in the past and just this year supported a budget that would essentially have turned Medicare into a privatized voucher program. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care," U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009
Rebuttal: Medicare for Dummies," Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2009,  http://bit.ly/9482j
But I know this: I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it. (Applause.) I won't stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly the way they are. If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out (Applause.) And I will not -- and I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks to a Joint Session of Congress on Health Care," U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., September 9, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009,  http://bit.ly/OkQpe and Calvin Woodward and Erica Werner, "Fact Check: Obama Uses Iffy Math on Deficit Pledge," AP, September 10, 2009
What we cannot do is stand pat. What we can't do is accept a status quo that is bankrupting families, businesses, and our nation. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks After Cabinet Meeting," Cabinet Room, Washington, D.C., September 10, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009,  http://bit.ly/OkQpe
And because we're so close to real reform, suddenly the special interests are doing what they always do, which is just try to scare the heck out of people. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic," Coney Island, Cincinnati, OH, September 7, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009, http://bit.ly/OkQpe
But I've got -- I've got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we're going to pull the plug on Grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants -- you've heard all the lies.  I've got a question for all those folks:  What are you going to do?  (Applause.)  What's your answer?  (Applause.)  What's your solution?  (Applause.)  And you know what?  They don't have one.  (Applause.)  Their answer is to do nothing.  Their answer is to do nothing.  And we know what that future looks like:  insurance companies raking in the profits while discriminating against people because of preexisting conditions; denying or dropping coverage when you get sick.  It means you're never negotiating about higher wages, because all you're spending your time doing is just trying to protect the benefits that you already fought for. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at AFL-CIO Labor Day Picnic," Coney Island, Cincinnati, OH, September 7, 2009
Rebuttal: Republicans to Obama: Here Are Our Health Care Plans," FOX News, September 10, 2009, http://bit.ly/OkQpe
And that's why even though there is some resistance on Wall Street from those who would prefer to keep things the way they are, we will pass the reforms necessary to protect consumers, investors, and the entire financial system. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at the Nomination of Ben Bernanke for Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Oak Bluffs School Filing Center, Oak Bluffs, MA, August 25, 2009
Rebuttal: Karl Rove, "President Bush Tried to Rein In Fan and Fred," Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2009,  http://bit.ly/14i7U0
So we cannot be intimidated by some of these scare tactics.  We have to understand that there a lot of people who are invested in the status quo and make a lot of money out of it. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President in the Organizing for America National Health Care Forum," DNC Headquarters, August 20, 2009
Rebuttal: Michael Saul, "More Americans disapprove than approve of Obama health care reform plan: poll," NY Daily News, August 14, 2009,  http://bit.ly/BAeIi
In fact, whenever America has set about solving our toughest problems, there have always been those who've sought to preserve the status quo by scaring the American people. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks in Town Hall on Health Care," Central High School, Grand Junction, CO, August 15, 2009
Rebuttal: "GOP Solutions for America: Offering Smart Alternatives," House Republican Conference,  http://bit.ly/PxceQ
Because for all the scare tactics out there -- for all the scare tactics out there, what is truly scary -- what's truly risky -- is if we do nothing. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks in Town Hall on Health Care," Gallatin Field Airport, Belgrade, MT, August 14, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Paul Ryan (WI-1, R), “If I Were In Charge of Health Care Reform,” Milwaukee/Wisconsin Biz Times, August 6, 2009, http://bit.ly/caWFB
But let's face it, now is the hard part -- because the history is clear -- every time we come close to passing health insurance reform, the special interests fight back with everything they've got. They use their influence. They use their political allies to scare and mislead the American people. They start running ads. This is what they always do. We can't let them do it again. Not this time. Not now. (Applause.) Because for all the scare tactics out there, what is truly scary -- what is truly risky -- is if we do nothing. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Health Insurance Reform Town Hall," Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, NH, August 11, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Paul Ryan (WI-1, R), “If I Were In Charge of Health Care Reform,” Milwaukee/Wisconsin Biz Times, August 6, 2009, http://bit.ly/caWFB
So you can't go out there and charge up the credit card, go on an all kinds of things shopping spree that didn’t grow the economy, hand over the bill to us, and then say, why haven’t you paid it off yet. (Applause.) I got that bill from you. (Laughter.) Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at a Rally for State Senator Creigh Deeds,? Hilton McLean Tysons, Tysons Corner, VA, August 6, 2009
Now, there are a lot of people out there those who are looking to defend the status quo.  There are those who want to seek political advantage.  They want to oppose these efforts. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks on the Economy,? Monaco Coach, Wakarusa, IN, August 5, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Paul Ryan (WI-1, R), “If I Were In Charge of Health Care Reform,” Milwaukee/Wisconsin Biz Times, August 6, 2009, http://bit.ly/caWFB
There are some who see what's taking place here and suggest that it's all somehow inevitable, and that the only way for America to get ahead is for places like Elkhart to be left behind. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks on the Economy,? Monaco Coach, Wakarusa, IN, August 5, 2009
These folks need to stop scaring everybody. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Town Hall,? Broughton High School, Raleigh, NC, July 29, 2009
I know there are folks who will oppose any kind of reform because they profit from the way the system is right now. Rquo
President Barack Obama, AARP Tele-Town Hall on Health Care Reform, AARP Headquarters, Washington, D.C., July 28, 2009
Rebuttal: “A Better Health Care Reform,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009, http://bit.ly/2lytBt
Now, we won’t get there without all of you hearing a lot of the same scare tactics that you always hear. They’ve used it to kill health insurance reform for decades. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at a Fundraiser,? Chicago, IL, July 24, 2009
Rebuttal: A Better Health Care Reform,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009, http://bit.ly/2lytBt
There are some in Washington who want us to go down the path that we’ve already traveled for the last decade or so -- a path where we just throw up our hands and say, oh, this is too hard, too tough, we can’t do it. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at a Fundraiser,? Chicago, IL, July 24, 2009
Rebuttal: “A Better Health Care Reform,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009, http://bit.ly/2lytBt
There are those now who are seeing our failure to address stubborn problems as a sign that our best days are behind us; that somehow we've lost our sense of purpose, and toughness, and capacity to lead; that we can't do big things anymore. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at Health Care Reform Town Hall,? Shaker Heights, OH, July 23, 2009
Rebuttal: “A Better Health Care Reform,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009, http://bit.ly/2lytBt
There's always going to be some interest out there that decides, you know what, the status quo is working for me a little bit better. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Press Conference,? White House, Washington, D.C., July 22, 2009
Rebuttal: Derek Thompson, “Hey Obama, There is Consensus on Health Care,” The Atlantic,” July 24, 2009, http://bit.ly/Ya670
Time and again, we've heard excuses to delay and defeat reform.  Time and again, the American people have suffered because people in Washington played the politics of the moment instead of putting the interests of the American people first…So I understand that some will try to delay action until the special interests can kill it, while others will simply focus on scoring political points. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks on Health Care and the Senate Vote on F-22 Funding,? Rose Garden, Washington D.C., July 21, 2009
Rebuttal: Ryan J. Donmoyer, “Grassley, Ross See Health-Care Bill Likely This Year," July 24, 2009, http://bit.ly/u9HL6
I know that there are those in this town who openly declare their intention to block reform.  It's a familiar Washington script that we've seen many times before.  These opponents of reform would rather score political points than offer relief to Americans who've seen premiums double and costs grow three times faster than wages.  They would maintain a system that works for the insurance and the drug companies, while becoming increasingly unaffordable for families and for businesses. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks on Health Care and the Senate Vote on F-22 Funding,? Rose Garden, Washington D.C., July 21, 2009
Rebuttal: “A Better Health Care Reform,” Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009, http://bit.ly/2lytBt
Now, there are some in this town who are content to perpetuate the status quo, are in fact fighting reform on behalf of powerful special interests. There are others who recognize the problem, but believe -- or perhaps, hope -- that we can put off the hard work of insurance reform for another day, another year, another decade. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks on Health Care,? Children?s Hospital, Washington, D.C., July 20, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Paul Ryan “On the Urgent Need for Health Care Reform,” http://bit.ly/l9mBg
The naysayers and the cynics still doubt that we can do this. But it wasn't too long ago that those same naysayers doubted that we'd be able to make real progress on health care reform. And thanks to the work of key committees in Congress, we're now closer to the goal of health reform than we have ever been. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks on Health Care Reform," The Rose Garden, Washington, DC, July 15, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Paul Ryan “Health Care Reform: Capitalizing on
Common Ground,” Facebook, July 14, 2009, http://bit.ly/3zdkjk
When it comes to these issues, the naysayers seem to think that we can somehow just keep on doing what we've been doing and expect a different outcome. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at Luncheon Fundraiser with Governor John Corzine,? Holmdel, NJ, July 16, 2009
Rebuttal: “Nationwide ‘Tea Party’ Protests Blast Spending,” CNN, April 15, 2009, http://bit.ly/tFx6H
Now, there are some in New Jersey, some in Washington, some all across the country, who want us to go down the path we've already traveled for most of the last decade -- the path where we just throw up our hands and say, "We can't do anything about health care. It's too tough. We can't do anything about energy -- too hard" -- where we do nothing but hand out more tax breaks to the wealthiest few that make the rich richer and the deficit even larger, and leave ordinary people in the lurch. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at Luncheon Fundraiser with Governor John Corzine,? Holmdel, NJ, July 16, 2009
Rebuttal: House Republicans, “Republicans Introduce the American Energy Act,” June 10, 2009, http://bit.ly/iWQPL
My job is to solve problems, not to stand on the sidelines and harp and gripe. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President on the American Graduation initiative," Macomb Community College, Warren, Michigan, July 14, 2009
I know there are those who believe we should wait to solve this problem, or take a more incremental approach, or simply do nothing... And it is precisely that kind of small thinking that has led us into the current predicament. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Announcement of US Surgeon General," The White House, July 13, 2009
Rebuttal: Representatives John Boehner and Dave Camp, "Reform Health Care Without Government Takeover," The Detroit News, July 14, 2009, http://digg.com/d1wfBr
And the naysayers are already starting to line up and finding every excuse and scare tactic in the book for why reform is not going to happen.  This is going on as we speak.  And what I say to these critics is, well, what's your alternative?  Is your alternative just to stand pat and keep on watching more and more families lose their health care, more and more families with higher out-of-pocket costs for less insurance; businesses who are not able to compete internationally; a Medicare and a Medicaid system that is run amok?  Is that your alternative? Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Online Town Hall on Health Care," Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA, July 1, 2009
Rebuttal: Jill Jackson, “House Republicans Offer Health Care Plan,” CBS News, June 17, 2009, http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/06/17/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5093897.shtml
So when it comes to energy, when it comes to improving our schools, and when it comes to health care, I don't accept the status quo...We've got to stop clinging to a broken system that doesn’t work... Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Online Town Hall on Health Care," Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA, July 1, 2009
But you've heard the argument. People say, oh, this is overload, we can't do this much. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at National Finance Committee Fundraiser," Mandarin Hotel, Washington, DC, June 29, 2009
Rebuttal: Susan Davis, "WSJ/NBC Poll: Is Obama Taking on Too Much?" The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2008, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/06/17/wsjnbc-poll-is-obama-taking-on-too-much/
And you'll hear a bunch of muttering and yammering, and they'll say, well, well, we agree with reform, too.  Okay, if you agree with reform, then step up because we know that right now families are being crushed by the cost of health care.  Right now businesses are being crushed by the cost of health care. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at National Finance Committee Fundraiser," Mandarin Hotel, Washington, DC, June 29, 2009
Rebuttal: Health Care Solutions Group, http://www.blunt.house.gov/Read.aspx?ID=1059
That's not who America is.  You keep on hearing these folks making these arguments about how we've got to be fearful of the future.  I'm not interested in being afraid of the future.  I'm interested in seizing the future for our children and our grandchildren, and that's what this bill is about. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at National Finance Committee Fundraiser," Mandarin Hotel, Washington, DC, June 29, 2009
This is when it gets hard.  This is when the criticism gets louder, when the pundits grow impatient, when cynicism seeks to reassert itself.  This is when we hear the same voices advocating the same policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  This is where we hear that change just isn't possible. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President at National Finance Committee Fundraiser," Mandarin Hotel, Washington, DC, June 29, 2009
People are concerned. They know that they're living with the devil, but the devil they know they think may be better than the devil they don't. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "ABC's 'Prescription for America' Townhall on Health Care," The White House, June 24, 2009
Rebuttal: House Republican Conference, "GOP Talking Points on Health Care," http://www.gop.gov/talking-points/09/05/11/gop-health-care-talking-points
I think in this debate there's been some notion that if we just stand pat we're okay. And that's just not true. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Press Conference, The White House, Washington, DC, June 23, 2009
Rebuttal: "The Patient's Choice Act," http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=d4eab376-d507-4fb9-9f17-8b479a10affc

Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, Paul Ryan & Devin Nunes "An Alternative to Obamacare," Realclearpolitics.com, May 20, 2009,
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/20/an_alternative_to_obamacare_96575.html
I think it wasn't that long ago where everybody was properly outraged about AIG...Had we had the kinds of resolution authority, the kinds of laws that were in place that would allow a orderly winding down of AIG, then potentially taxpayers could have saved a huge amount of money. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Press Conference, The White House, Washington, DC, June 23, 2009
Rebuttal: President George W. Bush Administration, "Just the Facts: The Administration's Unheeded Warnings About the Systemic Risk Posed by the GSEs,"  President George W. Bush White House Archives, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/09/print/20080919-15.html
But to those who simply criticize without offering new ideas of their own, I have to ask:  What’s your answer?  What’s your answer to all those families who now spend more on health care than on housing or on food?  What’s your answer to those businesses that are choosing between closing their doors and letting their workers go? Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DSCC/DCCC Fundraiser," Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC, June 18, 2009
Rebuttal: Senator Paul Ryan, "Senators Coburn, Burr, and Representatives Ryan, Nunes Offer a Better Path Forward on Health Care Reform," May 20, 2009, http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/

Karl Rove, "The GOP Can Stop ObamaCare," The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2009,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124528299115425463.html
Don’t tell me that all you're offering is meager tax cuts to uninsured Americans.  Don't present that as a new idea.  It’s the same idea that’s been proposed for the last eight years.  Don't tell me that we're going to tinker around the edges and that nothing is going to change, and 46 million people won't have health insurance, and you still have people who do have health insurance with their premiums tripling; doubling over the last nine years, going up three times faster than wages.  That's not acceptable. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DSCC/DCCC Fundraiser," Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC, June 18, 2009
Rebuttal: Greg D'Angelo, "What CBO Says About the Kennedy-Dodd Health Bill," The Heritage Foundation, June 17, 2009
http://blog.heritage.org/2009/06/17/what-cbo-says-about-the-kennedy-dodd-health-bill/
This is when we hear the same voices advocating the same old policies that got us into this mess in the first place.  This is when we hear that the change we seek just isn’t possible.  Can't do it; system overload; circuits breaking down.  (Laughter.)  Right, George?  (Laughter.)  I mean, we've been hearing it -- it's so predictable. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks at DSCC/DCCC Fundraiser," Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Washington, DC, June 18, 2009
Rebuttal: Senator Paul Ryan, "Senators Coburn, Burr, and Representatives Ryan, Nunes Offer a Better Path Forward on Health Care Reform," May 20, 2009, http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/

Karl Rove, "The GOP Can Stop ObamaCare," The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2009,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124528299115425463.html
There are also those who will say we are going too far. But the events of the past few years offer ample testimony for the need to make significant changes. The absence of a working regulatory regime over many parts of the financial system - and over the system as a whole - led us to near catastrophe. Rquo
President Barack Obama, "Remarks by the President on 21st Century Financial Regulatory Reform," The White House, June 17, 2009
Rebuttal:

President George W. Bush, "We Must Act Now," White House, September 20, 2008, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/09/20080919-2.html

Karl Rove, "President Bush Tried to Rein in Fan and Fred," Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123137220550562585.html

Brad A. Blakeman, "We Must Prevent Another AIG," Newsmax, April 6, 2009, http://www.newsmax.com/us/AIG_monopoly/2009/04/06/200240.html

But we also know that there are those who will try and scuttle this opportunity no matter what -- who will use the same scare tactics and fear-mongering that's worked in the past; who will give warnings about socialized medicine and government takeovers, long lines and rationed care, decisions made by bureaucrats and not doctors. We have heard this all before. And because these fear tactics have worked, things have kept getting worse. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks to the American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, June 15, 2009
Rebuttal: “Health Care Solutions Group,” http://www.blunt.house.gov/Read.aspx?ID=1059

"The Patient's Choice Act," http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=d4eab376-d507-4fb9-9f17-8b479a10affc

Sens. Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Representatives Paul Ryan & Devin Nunes "An Alternative to Obamacare," Realclearpolitics.com, May 20, 2009,
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/05/20/an_alternative_to_obamacare_96575.html
Despite what some have suggested, the reason we have these costs is not simply because we have an aging population. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks to the American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, June 15, 2009
Rebuttal: Health Care Solutions Group, “House GOP Solutions Group Outlines Health Care Plan to Increase Affordability, Accessibility, Availability,” http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:w9bGunZ3lOkJ:www.ncsl.org/documents/health/HRepPlan.pdf+gop+medical+costs+medicare+abuse&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a
And yet, as clear as it is that our system badly needs reform, reform is not inevitable. There's a sense out there among some that, as bad as our current system may be, the devil we know is better than the devil we don't. There is a fear of change - a worry that we may lose what works about our health care system while trying to fix what doesn't. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks to the American Medical Association, Chicago, IL, June 15, 2009
Rebuttal: Sens. Tom Coburn, Richard Burr, and Representatives Paul Ryan and Devin Nunes, “Unveiling the Patients’ Choice Act,” May 20, 2009, http://www.house.gov/ryan/PCA/
But if we wait -- if we said, well, you know, since we're not going to get it right, right away, let's put this off until two or four or five years from now -- it's never going to happen. That's what's been going on for the last 50 years now -- people have said, we can't do it right now. And as a consequence, it never gets done. Now is the time to do it, all right? Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President in Town Hall Meeting on Health Care, Green Bay, WI, June 11, 2009
Rebuttal: Philip Klein, “Republicans Warn Against Rushing Health Care Reform,” The American Spectator, June 12, 2009, http://spectator.org/blog/2009/06/12/republicans-warn-against-rushi
There are those out there who want us to go down the same old path -- the path where we just throw up our hands and say, "We can't do anything about education. It's too hard. We can't do anything about health care -- it's too tough. Rquo
President Barack Obama, ?Remarks at a Rally for State Senator Creigh Deeds,? Hilton McLean Tysons, Tysons Corner, VA, August 6, 2009
Rebuttal: Representative Paul Ryan (WI-1, R), “If I Were In Charge of Health Care Reform,” Milwaukee/Wisconsin Biz Times, August 6, 2009, http://bit.ly/caWFB
Now, I know that there's some who, despite all evidence to the contrary, still don't believe in the necessity and promise of this recovery act. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks by the President and the Vice President before Meeting with Cabinet to Discuss Roadmap to Recovery, The White House, June 8, 2009
Rebuttal: Rep. John Boehner, “Savings Recovery Act Will Help Americans Rebuild Their Retirement, College and Personal Savings,” House Republican Leader Press Release, April 22, 2009, http://republicanleader.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=123320

Karl Rove, “It’s the Economy, Stupid,” The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2009, http://www.rove.com/articles/160

“45% Say Cancel Rest of Stimulus Spending,” Rasmussen Reports, June 10, 2009, http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/economic_stimulus_package/june_2009/45_say_cancel_rest_of_stimulus_spending
But if we continue to make decisions from within a climate of fear, we will make more mistakes. And if we refuse to deal with these issues today, then I guarantee you that they will be an albatross around our efforts to combat terrorism in the future. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks on National Security, Washington DC, May 21, 2009
Rebuttal: Charles Krauthammer, “Obama in Bush Clothing,” The Washington Post, May 22, 2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/21/AR2009052103680.html
I also believe that ? too often ? our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight, and all too often trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, we too often set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks on National Security, Washington DC, May 21, 2009
Now, over the last several weeks, we have seen a return of the politicization of these issues that have characterized the last several years. I understand that these problems arouse passions and concerns. They should. We are confronting some of the most complicated questions that a democracy can face. But I have no interest in spending our time re-litigating the policies of the last eight years. I want to solve these problems, and I want to solve them together as Americans. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks on National Security, Washington DC, May 21, 2009
And we will be ill-served by some of the fear-mongering that emerges whenever we discuss this issue. Listening to the recent debate, I?ve heard words that are calculated to scare people rather than educate them; words that have more to do with politics than protecting our country. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks on National Security, Washington DC, May 21, 2009
On one side of the spectrum, there are those who make little allowance for the unique challenges posed by terrorism, and who would almost never put national security over transparency. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who embrace a view that can be summarized in two words: "anything goes." Their arguments suggest that the ends of fighting terrorism can be used to justify any means, and that the President should have blanket authority to do whatever he wants - provided that it is a President with whom they agree. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks on National Security, Washington, DC, May 21, 2009
No longer will we accept the notion that our politics are too small, our nation too divided, our people too weary of broken promises and lost opportunities to take up a historic calling. No longer will we accept anything less than a common effort, made in good faith, to solve our toughest problems. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Remarks on National Fuel Efficiency Standard, May 19, 2009
Rebuttal: Ken Thomas, “White House Weighs in on Fuel Economy,” The Washington Post, February 7, 2007, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/07/AR2007020701300.html
Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son's or daughter's hardships can be relieved. Rquo
President Barack Obama, Commencement Address, Notre Dame University, May 17, 2009
For decades, we've talked about reducing costs, improving care, and providing coverage to uninsured Americans. But all too often, efforts at reform have fallen victim to special interest lobbying aimed at keeping things the way they are; to political point-scoring that sees health care not as a moral issue or an economic issue, but as a wedge issue; and to a failure on all sides to come together on behalf of the American people. Rquo
President Obama, Remarks on Reforming the Health Care System, May 11, 2009
But one of the pillars of this foundation is fiscal responsibility. We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits don't matter and waste is not our problem. We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration -- or the next generation. Rquo
President Obama, Remarks on Reducing Spending, May 7, 2009
Rebuttal: “Bush Deficit vs. Obama Deficit in Pictures,” The Foundry, The Heritage Foundation, March 24th, 2009, http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/24/bush-deficit-vs-obama-deficit-in-pictures/
If we don't pass the budget, it will empower those critics who don't want to see anything getting done. Rquo
President Obama, Closed-door Meeting with Congressional Democrats, March 30, 2009
When it comes to Iran, you know, we did a video sending a message to the Iranian people and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, well, they did not immediately say that we're eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism. Well, we didn't expect that. We expect that we're going to make steady progress on this front. We haven't immediately eliminated the influence of lobbyists in Washington. We have not immediately eliminated wasteful pork projects. And we're not immediately going to get Middle East peace. We've been in office now a little over 60 days. Rquo
President Obama, Remarks at Press Conference, March 24, 2009
Now, the alternative is to stand pat and to simply say, we are just going to not invest in health care. We're not going to take on energy. We'll wait until the next time that gas gets to $4 a gallon. We will not improve our schools. And we'll allow China or India or other countries to lap our young people in terms of their performance. We will settle on lower growth rates, and we will continue to contract, both as an economy and our ability to -- to provide a better life for our kids. Rquo
President Obama, Press Conference, March 24, 2009
But while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade. Rquo
President Obama, Address to Joint Session of Congress, February 24, 2009
Rebuttal: President George W. Bush, “President Bush Discusses Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,” Chantilly, VA, October 7, 2008, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/10/20081007-4.html
In other words, we have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election.  A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future.  Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.  People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway.  And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day. Rquo
President Obama, Address to Joint Session of Congress, February 24, 2009
Rebuttal: President George W. Bush Administration, "Just the Facts: The Administration's Unheeded Warnings About the Systemic Risk Posed by the GSEs," President George W. Bush White House Archives, http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/09/print/20080919-15.html
But in recent years, we?ve seen the pendulum swing too far in the opposite direction. It?s a philosophy that says every problem can be solved if only government would step out of the way; that if government were just dismantled, divvied up into tax breaks, and handed out to the wealthiest among us, it would somehow benefit us all. Such knee-jerk disdain for government ? this constant rejection of any common endeavor ? cannot rebuild our levees or our roads or our bridges. It cannot refurbish our schools or modernize our health care system; lead to the next medical discovery or yield the research and technology that will spark a clean energy economy. Rquo
President Obama, Remarks in Springfield, IL, February 12, 2009
And I'm happy to get good ideas from across the political spectrum, from Democrats and Republicans. What I won't do is return to the failed theories of the last eight years that got us into this fix in the first place, because those theories have been tested and they have failed. Rquo
President Obama, Press Conference, February 9, 2009
As I said, the one concern I've got on the stimulus package in terms of the debate and listening to some of what's been said in Congress is that there seems to be a set of folks who -- I don't doubt their sincerity -- who just believe that we should do nothing. Now, if that's their opening position or their closing position in negotiations, then we're probably not going to make much progress, because I don't think that's economically sound and I don't think that's what the American people expect, is for us to stand by and do nothing. Rquo
President Obama, Press Conference, February 9, 2009
And let me give you a prime example -- when it comes to how we approach the issue of fiscal responsibility. Again, it's a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they presided over a doubling of the national debt. I'm not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Rquo
President Obama, Press Conference, February 9, 2009
Let's be clear:  We can't expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place. Rquo
President Obama, Weekly Address, February 7, 2009
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Rquo
President Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage. What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply. Rquo
President Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Rquo
President Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.  On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics Rquo
President Obama, Inaugural Address, January 20, 2009
This crisis did not happen solely by some accident of history or normal turn of the business cycle, and we won?t get out of it by simply waiting for a better day to come, or relying on the worn-out dogmas of the past. We arrived at this point due to an era of profound irresponsibility that stretched from corporate boardrooms to the halls of power in Washington, DC?. Politicians spent taxpayer money without wisdom or discipline, and too often focused on scoring political points instead of the problems they were sent here to solve. Rquo
President-Elect Obama, Speech at George Mason University, January 8, 2009