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White House / politics

Dem Fightin' Words

photo of Ben Terris
December 7, 2010

He may have announced a deal with Republicans to extend for two years the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, but President Obama wasn’t afraid to throw out some fightin’ words while doing so.

Over the course of his press conference today, he evoked hostage situations, bomb throwers, and athletic fields. He threw in words like “harm” and “casualties” too, just in case it wasn’t clear that he’s got battle on his mind.

“I will be happy to see the Republicans test whether or not I’m itching for a fight on a whole range of issues,” he said. “I suspect they will find I am. And I think the American people will be on my side on a whole bunch of these fights. Right now, I want to make sure the American people aren’t hurt because we’re having a political fight.”

 

And judging by the way Obama answered questions, this is no anodyne fight: this is war.

Not only did he refer to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner as a “bomb thrower,” but he said Republicans were holding the country in a hostage-like situation.

“I think its tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers—unless the hostage gets harmed,” Obama said. “Then people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case, the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.

And for political junkies who don’t understand that a fight is on the horizon unless it’s signified by a sports metaphor, Obama closed his press conference with this challenge to Republicans: “I’m looking forward to seeing them on the field of competition over the next two years.”

Video: Obama Says Republicans Held Tax Cuts 'Hostage'

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