Um, bipartisanship? President Barack Obama “would object” to the annihilation of the Republican Party, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday. His comments came two days after Republican House Speaker John Boehner charged that doing away with the GOP would be one of the Democrat’s top second-term priorities.
“I know it’s not his goal. His goal is to work together with Congress, with members of both parties to achieve progress on behalf of the American people,” Carney said.
But Obama would not object if somehow the GOP were destroyed, right?
“I think he would object,” Carney insisted. “He believes that the two-party system is part of the foundation of our democracy and that it is a healthy aspect of our democracy even if it’s contentious.”
Boehner leveled the accusation in a speech Tuesday to the Ripon Society, which describes itself as “a Republican public policy advocacy organization,” as he reflected on the president’s inaugural address.
“Given what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans,” Boehner said. “So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party. And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal—to just shove us into the dustbin of history.”
Carney disputed Boehner’s contention.
“Even though we have profound differences, and differences that we will not resolve necessarily in the next year—or two, or three, or four—it is imperative that we come together and act on behalf of the American people,” the spokesman said.
“The president believes that a strong two-party system is the foundation of our democracy and looks forward to working with Republicans as well as Democrats and get things done,” Carney added.
What about the political polarization in Washington?
“We need to have spirited debates, but not debates that paralyze us. We need to compromise, not be absolutists,” Carney said, stressing that politicians should pursue government by compromise, “not confrontation and crisis.”