Progressive commentator says Obama was delusional thinking he could work with Republicans

Former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden to debate for first time as front-runner John Kerry: Play based on Mueller report is 'an act of public service' Obama photographed alongside Clooney on boat in Italy MORE failed to take advantage of his time in office because he was too focused on trying to find common ground with congressional Republicans who were never going to work with him, progressive commentator Emma Vigeland said Thursday.

"I think what Obama epitomized is a philosophy that frustrates some progressives. That oh we we can work we can have a beer summit with the Republicans; we can work with them. They're not honest actors in many cases." Vigeland, a correspondent and producer at the progressive The Young Turks, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

Democratic outreach attempts toward GOP elected officials are doomed to failure, Vigeland argued, because Republicans are "pretty much bought completely" by business interests.

Vigeland criticized Obama for failing to push for a "public option" health care system in which citizens could have purchased health insurance from the government rather than from a private company.

"You have to set the goal posts further so when compromise does eventually happen, that its actually something more meaningful than the watered down things that I think he got achieved," she said.

Obama's signature piece of legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was signed into law in 2010 and created government-run marketplaces for individuals buying insurance and also established tax penalties for not purchasing insurance that have since been eliminated by Republicans. The GOP has campaigned against the law's provisions for nearly a decade but has yet to successfully advance an alternative.

—Alec D'Angelo