Alexander, drawing on Nixon era, warns Obama against keeping 'enemies list'

The White House should shy away from creating an "enemies list," the third-ranking Republican in the Senate warned Wednesday.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, drew on what he said was his experience in the Nixon administration to advise President Barack Obama of creating such a list, which President Richard Nixon had infamously maintained.

"Based upon that experience and my forty years since then in and out of public life, I want to make what I hope will be taken as a friendly suggestion to President Obama and his White House: don’t create an enemies list," Alexander said during a speech on the Senate floor this morning.

Alexander noted the White House's reported offensive lately against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Fox News network as prominent examples of the Obama administration's potential score-keeping on political opponents.

Alexander asserted that even members of Congress have found themselves in the Obama administration's "crosshairs" for having questioned various White House policies and practices.

ADVERTISEMENT


"If the President and his top aides treat people with different views as enemies instead of listening to what they have to say, they’re likely to end up with a narrow view and a feeling that the whole world is out to get them," he said. "And as those of us who served in the Nixon administration know, that can get you into a lot of trouble."

"Let’s not start calling people out and compiling an enemies list," the Tennessee Republican added. "Let’s push the street-brawling out of the White House and work together on the truly presidential issues."