MSNBC's Ratigan: Obama Offers 'Olive Branch;' GOP Uses It to 'Hit Back'
At the top of Friday's Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, the show announcer teased a story on President Obama speaking a meeting of House Republicans in Baltimore: "What will Republicans do with President Obama's olive branch? He's reaching out to the GOP yet again, despite a year of push backs and criticisms. Is he being naive or crazy like a fox?"
Moments later, host Dylan Ratigan made a biblical reference to explain Obama's supposedly gracious gesture: "We begin today with a biblical story of Noah and the floods....he sent a dove....To look for dry land after a great flood had wiped out the Earth. The dove returned with an olive branch." Ratigan then observed: "the President tried the same approach. Especially...with the Republicans."
After playing a clip of the President calling for bipartisanship in the State of the Union speech, Ratigan argued: "So if the President thought that meant Republicans would start jumping onboard his boat? He thought wrong. They've taken his olive branch and are now using it to hit back against his agenda."
Ratigan went to complain that the congressional GOP "Yesterday alone...voted no on two Obama proposals." For not rubber stamping proposals such as raising the debt ceiling to accommodate out-of-control spending, Ratigan concluded that Republicans: "often vote no for no reason other than voting no."
Here is a full transcript of the segment:
BARACK OBAMA: You know what they say, keep your friends close, but visit the Republican caucus every few months.
ANNOUNCER: In America today, what will Republicans do with President Obama's olive branch? He's reaching out to the GOP yet again, despite a year of push backs and criticisms. Is he being naive or crazy like a fox? And what will it do for the gridlock in Washington?
DYLAN RATIGAN: We begin today with a biblical story of Noah and the floods. Yes, I'm not kidding. How it relates to what is happening in America today. As the Noah story goes, he sent a dove, you see the dove there? To look for dry land after a great flood had wiped out the Earth. The dove returned with an olive branch, like the one I have in my hand, or the lovely one you see depicted on the screen. A sign of reconciliation, a gesture of goodwill, a symbol for a second chance. During the President's State of the Union speech the other night, the President tried the same approach. Especially, not only with the Congress, but with the Republicans.
BARACK OBAMA: We face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope, what they deserve, is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences.
RATIGAN: So if the President thought that meant Republicans would start jumping onboard his boat? He thought wrong. They've taken his olive branch and are now using it to hit back against his agenda. Yesterday alone Republicans voted no on two Obama proposals. The Senate passing a bill to extend the federal debt ceiling, because effectively at this point they've boxed themselves into a corner and have no choice. All the nos coming from the Republicans. On the bill requiring Congress not to pass any legislation that we can't pay for, so-called PayGo, that, 40 nos. All from the GOP. And Republican leaders already saying no to using billions in bailout money to create tax credits for small businesses. I am not passing judgment on whether they were right or wrong to vote no. But I am making a point that they often vote no for no reason other than voting no. Today the President met with House Republicans at their conference in their house in Baltimore, and delivered a firm and compelling message. Our future, he says, should not be shaped by what is best for your party's politics, whether you are a lefty or a righty. Our politics should be shaped by what is the best policy for America.
OBAMA: And I don't believe that the American people want us to focus on our job security. They want us to focus on their job security. They didn't send us to Washington to fight each other in some sort of political steel cage match to see who comes out alive.
RATIGAN: Back to Noah and the great flood. The goal was to wipe sin and wickedness off the Earth. Or so God proclaimed with the flood. Well, in 2010, it won't be God. A similar movement is taking shape in this country. Either politicians will change their ways and start working for the people and show us a process that proves that fact, transparent, back-room deals gone, earmarks disclosed, voice votes see you later, or the American people will go to the polls and wipe all of these politicians out of Washington and replace them with people that will take our country into the 21st century.
-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.