Republican compares president to Pilate

A House Republican compared President Obama to Pontius Pilate on Thursday, charging that he has refused to take responsibility for his decisions.

“This guy is the Pontius Pilate of politics,” freshman Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said on G. Gordon Liddy’s radio show. “This is a president that just refuses to ever take responsibility for a bad decision. … He washes his hands of every decision that he has to make and throws it in to Congress and says, ‘Let them make the really tough decisions. I’m busy running for reelection.’”

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Pilate was the Roman magistrate in 1st-century Judea who, according to the New Testament, effectively authorized the execution of Jesus Christ by symbolically washing his hands of the matter and leaving the decision to local authorities.

Kelly referred to Obama’s stances on recent “healthcare” and “stimulus” bills. Obama most recently has been prodding Congress to act on his jobs bill, telling them to “get their act together” and “get it done,” among other statements, Kelly said.

Congress failed to pass Obama’s American Jobs Act and has so far shot down individual components such as the payroll-tax-cut expansion. Obama characterized the bill as important to the economic recovery, saying his proposals will “put people back to work and put money in people’s pockets.”

The White House also put the onus on Congress for the congressional supercommittee’s failure to reach a deficit-reduction deal this month, saying Congress failed to accomplish a self-assigned “task that wasn’t really that difficult to achieve,” in the words of White House press secretary Jay Carney.

Several prominent Republicans have criticized Obama for what they said was a failure to show leadership in negotiating a deficit-reduction package.

“He’s always saying, ‘Well you know what, let those folks in Congress figure it out. They’ve got a low approval rating, let them keep making mistakes,’” Kelly said. “You know, I’m so tired of having this guy walk away from his responsibilities. He is the leader of the greatest country the world has ever known. He has taken us down a path that is just littered with debt after debt after debt and he never says, ‘I was wrong folks. We’ve got to change the trajectory of this.’ All he says is, ‘Those doggone Republicans are trying to make me look bad.’”

Obama has characterized Republican resistance as resistance to handing the president “a win” on his proposals, which he said had achieved bipartisan support in the past.

“Give me a win? Give me a break,” Obama said in several speeches promoting his jobs bill last month. “This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win. This is about giving people who are hurting a win.”