GOP Wave Changes White House-Congress Dynamics
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — There are no “Miss Manners” courses for President Obama and House Speaker-in-waiting John Boehner to take on how to get along with each other now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives. As CBS 2HD’s Marcia Kramer reports, Boehner made it clear Wednesday he’s not all that anxious to cozy up to the president.
“The American people spoke and I think it’s pretty clear the Obama-Pelosi agenda is being rejected by the American people. They want, as I said last night, they want the president to change course,” Boehner said.
That was just the start of the opening salvo from Boehner as Republicans scored their biggest party turnover in more than 70 years.
The new House leader said he intends to try and dismantle the health care reform bill that is one of President Obama’s most prized achievements. “I think it’s important for us to lay the ground work before we begin to repeal this monstrosity and replace it with common sense reforms.”
Republicans have independents to thank for many of their wins. In 2008, President Obama won 52-percent of the independent vote. That has flipped.
This year, Democrats won just 39-percent of independents and Republicans won 55-percent.
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Its clear the GOP knows it just borrowed independents and must work hard to keep them. “There’s no question there isn’t a lot of confidence focused on the Republicans yet,” said GOP Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) “We’ve got a job to do. We’ve been given a second chance and a golden opportunity.”
President Obama was quick to adapt to the new political equation in Washington. Tuesday night he called both outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and incoming Speaker Boehner.
His message to Boehner was that he is “looking forward to working with him and the Republicans to find common ground, move the country forward and get things done for the America people.”
It’s not clear the president’s message got through. “Our job is to listen to the American people and follow the will of the American people,” Boehner said.
The president also planned to hold a press conference Wednesday to offer his take on the elections.