Obama warns agenda will go backwards with House GOP win

President Obama warned Wednesday that his agenda will be
stuck in gridlock for the next two years if Democrats lose control of the

“Unless we are able to maintain Democrats in the House and
Senate, then we’re going to be stalled for two years or four years, and we’re
going to start going backwards,” Obama said in remarks at a Democratic National
Committee fundraiser in New Jersey, according to a pool report.

{mosads}Obama said the struggling economy and high unemployment is
hampering his party and giving the GOP momentum.

“Now when unemployment is still at 9.5, 9.6 percent that
gives an enormous advantage to whoever is not in power because they can simply
point at the status quo and regardless of causation say, ‘You know what? It’s
the folks who are in power that are at fault,’” Obama said. “So that gives a
natural momentum” to Republicans, he said.

Returning to a theme he has raised in appearances over the
past week, Obama warned Democrats to not sit back and sulk, but to do
“everything we can do to make sure our folks turn out” on Nov. 2.

The remarks about political gridlock if Republicans win
back the House are also likely aimed at Democratic voters inclined to stay home
on election day.

Obama was able to win approval of healthcare reform and
Wall Street reform this year, but plans to move climate change legislation and
immigration reform were set aside. If Republicans win control of the House,
they are likely to be put on the deep freeze.

Polls suggest Democrats could lose control of the House to
Republicans. A poll released Wednesday by The Hill and America’s Natural Gas
Alliance found Republicans ahead of freshman Democratic House incumbents in 12
different battleground districts.

Obama also said Democrats’ tendency to internally debate
every issue can be “a weakness.

Obama said a strength of his party is that it does not
march in lockstep, but that internal fights can also cost the party,
particularly when fights play out to the public weeks before an election.

“One of the strengths of Democrats is that we don’t march
lockstep. We like to have internal arguments and we’re very self-critical,”
Obama said

“We tend to look at the glass as half empty. And that
makes us better, he said. “But that’s also a weakness, particularly four weeks
before an election.”

Obama made the remarks at a fundraiser attended by 50
people who paid up to $30,400 a plate to attend. The DNC expects to raise $1
million from the event.

Democrats have bickered for much of the past two years on
policy and political strategy. They fought over the specifics of healthcare
reform, and argued over whether to move forward with climate change and
immigration legislation.

The White House has criticized liberals for expecting too
much from the president, while centrist Democrats have argued their leaders
have jeopardized the party’s political fortune.

Most recently, Democrats were deeply divided over how to
handle tax rates set to expire at the end of the year. Some wanted to extend
all of the rates, while the president and congressional leaders wanted to allow
rates to rise on wealthier taxpayers.


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