A Baltimore city bus and public works dump truck block the roadway… (Baltimore Sun photo by Gus.…)
They said it Some highlights of President Barack Obama's meeting with Republican leaders in Baltimore:
OBAMA: "These are serious times. And what's required of all of us, Democrats and Republicans, is to do what's right for our country, even if it's not always what's best for our politics. I know it may be heresy to say this, but there are things more important than good poll numbers. And on this, no one can accuse me of not living by my principles."
OBAMA: "I was not elected by Democrats or Republicans, but by the American people. That's especially true because the fastest growing group of Americans are independents. That should tell us both something."
OBAMA: "A lot of you have gone to appear at ribbon-cuttings for the same [stimulus] projects that you voted against."
OBAMA: "I am not an ideologue. I'm not."
OBAMA: "I'm a promoter of nuclear energy. ... I'm in favor of increased [oil and gas] production. So if you look at the ideas that this caucus has, again, with respect to energy, I'm for a lot of what you said you are for."
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ ( Utah Republican): "You stood up before the American people multiple times and said you would broadcast the health care debates on C-SPAN. You didn't. I was disappointed and I think a lot of Americans were disappointed."
OBAMA: "I think it's a legitimate criticism. So on that one, I take responsibility."
OBAMA: "Frankly, how some of you went after this [health care] bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot. ... That's how you guys presented it."
REP. TOM PRICE (Georgia Republican): The House Republican health care proposal "would provide health coverage for all Americans, would correct the significant insurance challenges of portability and pre-existing [conditions], would solve the lawsuit abuse issue ... and does all that without raising taxes by a penny."
"What should we tell our constituents who know that Republicans have offered positive solutions to the challenges that Americans face and yet continue to hear out of the administration that we've offered nothing?"
OBAMA: "If you say that we can offer coverage for all Americans and it won't cost a penny, that's just not true. You can't structure a bill where suddenly 30 million people have coverage and it costs nothing."
OBAMA: "I've read your legislation. I mean, I take a look at this stuff. And the good ideas we take. But here's the thing ... it can't be all or nothing, one way or the other, all right?"
REP. PETER ROSKAM ( Illinois Republican, served with Obama in state legislature): "I heard echoes today of the state senator I served with in Springfield. ... You rolled your sleeves up, you worked with the other party and ultimately you were able to make the deal. ... Over the past year, that attribute hasn't been in full bloom."
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