DNC leader says Obama still in charge

Jan. 2, 2011 at 1:49 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- The chairman of the Democratic National Committee warned Republicans Sunday that President Obama would not be a punching bag for the incoming Congress.

Chairman Tim Kaine said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the White House would continue to advance its agenda rather than assume the new GOP majority in the House would be running the show.

"We're going to see this president not being afraid to be the chief executive the American public asked him to be," said Kaine. "He is not going to play 'mother may I' with the Republicans. He's going to govern."

Kaine said the recent lame-duck session of Congress produced some significant bipartisan results that the White House would like to see continue. "If there are going to be members of the Republican Party who are willing to reach out and work as the president reaches toward them, we'll see some strong accomplishments," he said.

Kaine said 2011 would present a greater opportunity for Washington to focus on the economy because the jobless rate was more stable and changes in taxes and healthcare were in place. "Now is the time to start wrestling with the side of the federal based budget," Kaine said. "The president will challenge Republicans in congress to just do that."

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