Obey: Obama Shouldn’t Be So Nice

By

Former northern Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey is taking to the stump for Democrat Pat Kreitlow, who’s running against freshman Republican Congressman Sean Duffy in his old district. But Obey has advice for people on both sides of the political aisle, including President Obama in Tuesday night’s debate.

After serving in congress for 40 years, Obey says there is a place for politeness in political debates. But he hopes Obama is not as nice as he was in the first debate, “The President should resist the temptation to be overly kind to Mr. Romney. I think he was trying to be presidential and not leave any blood on the floor.”

As for Congress, the former Appropriations Committee Chairman says until political parties learn to talk to each other, Congress will remain broken, “That’s the reason why every single appropriations bill was passed before the end of the fiscal year, not because I was so blessed smart but because I had a good working relationship with my Republican opposite member. Today, if a Republican chairman tried to cut that same deal with the Democratic minority, he’d be skinned alive.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Obey says one way to fix it is to stop signing pledges with special interest groups, “As long as that’s the operative principle in Washington, that Congress isn’t going to work. You’ve got to have people in the rank and file down to the most junior member who say ‘That’s bull-gravy and we ain’t gonna play that way.”

Obey decided against running for another term in 2010. He says he walked away because of the caustic political climate and the need to raise more money for re-election.

Join the challenge. Goal: 500 gifts before June 27. Join the challenge.