Sen. Snowe: Obama Gets Poor Grade on Relations With Congress

Tuesday, 27 Mar 2012 03:20 PM

By Dan Weil

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Moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who is retiring at the end of this year, gives President Barack Obama very low marks for his outreach to Congress. "Close to failing,” Snowe said, when asked by ABC News what the president’s grade would be on that issue.

"A president should be reaching out to many on the opposite side of the aisle, to many Republicans on a bipartisan basis," the three-term senator said, according to The Hill.

Snowe said she hasn’t met with Obama in two years. "I think it was during the healthcare debate," she said, The Hill reported. "There was a meeting on energy, a meeting in the spring of 2010." Asked who in Congress Obama is cultivating now, Snowe responded: "Good question."

Snowe's complaints echo those of many others on Capitol Hill — that the president keeps his distance from Congress, showing a reluctance to meet even with congressmen in his own party, let alone Republicans.

Of course Obama stayed in close touch with Snowe when he needed her, The Hill reports. During the debates on healthcare reform in the summer of 2009, Obama wooed Snowe intensely, inviting her to the White House to gain her support. Obama's effort didn't work: Snowe voted against the healthcare plan.



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