Hoyer: No President in 30 Years Has Shown Obama's ‘Willingness to Compromise’

By Elizabeth Harrington | January 24, 2012 | 2:42pm EST

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (AP Photo)


– House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said today that no president in the last 30 years has “reached out as seriously and sincerely” to “work together in a bipartisan fashion” than President Barack Obama.

Hoyer made his remarks in a pen-and-pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill, during which he also spoke about the tone of tonight’s State of the Union Address, and whether it would be a political speech.

“He is the president, we are a democracy, president’s have to be re-elected,” Rep. Hoyer said. “Members of Congress have to be re-elected. There is nobody in the Congress or in the White House who will not talk unrelated to their political recognition, if they have to seek approval of the electorate in a few short months. That’s what makes our system so great.”

“Yes, it is shaped by the political environment but I think it’s also shaped in -- what’s the best politics will be is expressing the best policy and continuing to reach out to the other side and work together,” he said.

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign event, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, at the Apollo Theatre in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Hoyer further said, “I think that anybody who watches what goes on in Washington -- you can fool the people who don’t see it. But any fair analysis, in my view, will indicate that this president has reached out as seriously and sincerely as any president with whom I’ve served over the last 30 years, to work together in a bipartisan fashion.”

“No president with whom I’ve served over those last 30 years has spent as much time working with Republicans and Democrats in the room, exchanging ideas, evidencing a willingness to compromise as President Obama has,” said Hoyer.

“I think he needs to convey that to the American people, that’s what they want,” he said, in reference to tonight’s State of the Union address.

Hoyer, the second highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, said the four pillars of the president’s State of the Union speech would focus on American values, American manufacturing, American energy and skills for American workers.

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