Obama: Let’s face it, Congress is hurting my approval rating

posted at 9:45 pm on August 22, 2011 by Allahpundit

Not an absurd claim on its face — in theory, the more people hate “Washington” generally, the more all relevant players should suffer — but it’s astounding to think this is the same guy who swore up and down on the trail that he was going to transform the way D.C. does business. Three years ago his message was, “Elect me and strike a blow for hope.” Now his message is, “Reelect me because Congress is hopeless.” Now that’s Change.

CBS’s edit of the interview doesn’t include Obama’s full answer so here it is in the interest of fairness:

Mason: This past week Congress’ popularity obviously is, they’re, it barely registers. But this past week your popularity hit a record low. What does that say to you?

President Obama: Well, what it says to me is I’m the President of the United States and when people aren’t happy with what’s happening in Washington, that I’m gonna be impacted just like Congress is. And you know I completely understand that, we expected that.

But when you look at how people feel about my approach to deficit reduction or when you look at how people feel about my belief that we’ve gotta continue to invest in education or medical research or making sure that we’re rebuilding our roads and our bridges and our seaports and our airports, when you look at how people feel about the agenda to rebuild America so that it’s competitive in the 21st century that I’ve been promoting over the last couple of years, it turns out that people are supportive of that.

What they’re frustrated right now is they want me to be able to wrangle Congress and get them moving. And you know, we’ve got this thing, separation of powers, and we don’t have a parliamentary system. And it means that there are times where Congress is gonna do things despite what I saw as opposed to because I think this is the right direction for the country.

And that, and that frustrates people understandably. And you’ve got an unemployment rate that is still too high, an economy that’s not growing fast enough. And for me to argue, ‘Look, we’ve actually made the right decisions, things would have been much worse has we not made those decisions,’ that’s not that satisfying if you don’t have a job right now. And I understand that and I expect to be judged a year from now on whether or not things have continued to get better.

Is it true that his numbers are sinking because people are frustrated with Congress? Go back and look at the two main polls that came out immediately after the debt-ceiling deal was struck, when public disgust with back-room bargaining and brinksmanship was at its zenith. CNN’s poll on August 2nd found Congress’s approval rating at 14/84, an all-time low in almost 40 years of polling. Obama’s approval, though, was 45/52 — slightly better than it was in mid-July (45/54) and identical to what it was last October, a month before the midterms. (He rebounded to 54 percent in the interim before starting to sink this summer.) The NYT’s poll on August 3rd also found Congress’s approval rating imploding at 14/82, another record low. But Obama’s rating was 48/47 compared to 46/45 in April. It was as high as 57/37 in May, but began to erode shortly after that. Which is to say, compared to Congress, The One’s numbers were reasonably stable after the debt-ceiling deal. He took a small hit, but that was peanuts compared to the catastrophic loss of public confidence in Congress. Not until later this month, after a new round of terrible economic indicators, chaos on Wall Street, and endless worries about the eurozone did he sink below the 40th percentile in Gallup. It’s the economy, stupid, not Congress that’s dragging him beneath the waves. That’s why his job approval is still stuck at 40 percent after a solid week of Democratic demagoguery about how unpatriotic congressional Republicans have been in failing to put country over party.

Exit question: Could this have something to do with his numbers also? Click the image to watch.

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Exit question:

but, but BUSH!!!!!!
-libs

cmsinaz on August 23, 2011 at 7:19 AM

This president is a product of his associations over the years that blames everyone but themselves for the situation they are in. There’s no such thing as taking accountability or being responsible.

sadatoni on August 23, 2011 at 7:34 AM

OblameO … Hugo Chavez would be proud.

tarpon on August 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

I’m guessing there are some “journalists” who would like to tear into Obama with follow-up questions to these infantile statements that would make his head explode. Then they look down at their knee pads and remember why they are here.

Extrafishy on August 23, 2011 at 7:50 AM

The first President in American history who bears no responsibility for anything he’s done, ever, for any reason.

See, it’s not that he’s unpopular, or that his approval ratings have been low for a long time now.

No, you see, it’s those dastardly Republicans. Blame them. Why, in the seven months they’ve not been running the administration, Obama’s entire well-laid plans for prosperity and growth have been scuttled or something.

Obviously.

Good Lt on August 23, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Is there anything Obama will not blame on others?

WannabeAnglican on August 23, 2011 at 8:37 AM

NO jackass, YOU are hurting your own approval rating.

tx2654 on August 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

So basically, Obama is saying Congress is leading him in the wrong direction.

I guess that’s how leadership goes, sometimes…

hawksruleva on August 23, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Remember when George Washington lost the Revolutionary War because the Continental Congress was holding him back?

Back when I was reading American History, I thought George had some bad luck. But I realize now that his lot was nothing compared with the misery, long odds and incompetence that poor Barack finds himself up against.

hawksruleva on August 23, 2011 at 9:21 AM

OblameO

tarpon on August 23, 2011 at 7:43 AM

-
Bumper sticker!
-

RalphyBoy on August 23, 2011 at 9:32 AM

Waaaaaaa! Waaaaaa! Waaaaaaaaa!

What a wussy this guy is. My 4 year old daughter has more stones than this guy.

jistincase on August 23, 2011 at 9:46 AM

So basically, Barry is saying that while it’s understandable that he is being held responsible for things not getting better, those who do so are just wrong, and he isn’t really to blame.

Isn’t that little wooden slogan still on the desk, Mr. Resident? The one Truman put there? Hmm, I guess not.

Freelancer on August 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

No, you see, it’s those dastardly Republicans. Blame them. Why, in the seven months they’ve not been running the administration, Obama’s entire well-laid plans for prosperity and growth have been scuttled or something.

Obviously.

Good Lt on August 23, 2011 at 8:02 AM

Yes…I remember it now. We were finishing up our 14th vacation of the year, and while on the golf course it struck me that I wasn’t helping the President keep his approval ratings high enough. I bogeyed that hole.

BobMbx on August 23, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Congress is NOT hurting his popularity!
If Congress would actually DO THEIR JOB and hold him accountable for violating the War Powers Act, Operations Gun Runner and Fast & Furious, the murder of Brian Terry, our absolutely exploding debt, and several other things that supposedly “Liberals” were against when Bush was in Office – it’s conceivable he would be impeached by now!!!!!

YOU. LIE.

KMC1 on August 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

Hitler, April 1945: “Thanks for nothing, Goebbels and Speer!”

Yeah I went there.

Bishop on August 22, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Obama’s bunker will have better furniture.

Extrafishy on August 23, 2011 at 5:57 AM

Sure it will…..on the American taxpayer’s dime.

Solaratov on August 23, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Ever notice how, whenever he wants to pin blame on Republicans without actually naming them, he says “congress”? Why doesn’t he say “house”?

He’s using the same tactic the dems used in 2008, trying to make Americans think congress is completely under the control of Republicans. Bush wasn’t running again, and the Republicans didn’t control either house, but most Americans thought they did. They ran against a phantom they created out of whole cloth, and it worked. This is his re-election strategy, and he’s very well disciplined when it comes to message consistency.

In 2008 it worked to get the dems a filibuster-proof senate. In 2012, it will get obama re-elected, solely due to turn-out generated by people wanting to vote against Republicans in congress.

We’re doing this to ourselves folks.

runawayyyy on August 23, 2011 at 2:25 PM

I picture this.
Michelle: “who left the toilet seat up?”
Barry: “Malia”
Michelle: “who made a mess with the shaving cream?”
Barry: “Sasha”
Michelle: “who peed on the floor?”
Barry: “Bo”

elifino on August 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

I picture this.
Michelle: “who left the toilet seat up?”
Barry: “Malia”
Michelle: “who made a mess with the shaving cream?”
Barry: “Sasha”
Michelle: “who peed on the floor?”
Barry: “Bo”

elifino on August 23, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Winner!

NoFanofLibs on August 24, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Comment pages: 1 2