Obama to McCain: ‘I’m the President’


mccain-obamaIn a wide-ranging midday press conference, President Obama took on Republican critics of his stance on Iran, directly targeting former rival Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and saying, “I am the president of the United States.” Obama, who has been accused by McCain and other Republicans of being too timid throughout the unrest following Iran’s presidential elections, has gradually taken a firmer stance in the days following the election. At the beginning of yesterday’s press conference – Obama’s fourth from the White House since taking office – the president again condemned the violence in the country and expressed U.S. respect for Iran’s sovereignty, but this time toughened his remarks to address specific incidents of violence. In doing so, Obama also noted the way Iranians have used technology to tell the world about what is happening there.

“The Iranian people can speak for themselves,” Obama said in the James S. Brady Briefing Room. “That is precisely what has happened these last few days. In 2009, no iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to the peaceful pursuit of justice. Despite the Iranian government’s efforts to expel journalists and isolate itself, powerful images and poignant words have made their way to us through cell phones and computers, and so we have watched what the Iranian people are doing.”

When asked if his tougher talk was influenced by critics like McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Obama smiled and said, “What do you think?

“I think John McCain has genuine passion about many of these international issues,” Obama said, adding that they share a desire to see free speech respected. “But only I’m the president of the United States.

“Members of Congress, they’ve got their constitutional duties, and I’m sure they’ll carry them out in a way they think is appropriate,” Obama said. “I’m the president of the United States, and I’ll carry out my responsibilities the way I think is appropriate.”

Obama appeared to grow testy when reporters questioned whether he had been tough enough, saying he was not “hinting” when he condemned violence perpetrated by the Iranian government and pointing to one of the more graphic images to emerge from the torn country.

“I think when a woman gets shot on the street when she tries to get out of her car, that’s a problem,” Obama said.

The president refused to engage in whether he would revoke diplomatic entreaties to Iran on the issues of nuclearization and terrorism depending on how the election unrest plays out.

“Obviously, what has happened in Iran is profound,” Obama said. “And we’re still waiting to see how it plays itself out.”

He did say, however, that what he has seen so far “is not encouraging.”

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said “the president did step up his criticsm of the Iranian regime.”

“I congratulate him for that and we need to keep the pressure up,” Boehner told reporters.

{The Hill/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. “Obama to McCain: ‘I’m the President'”

    No way! Really?

  2. what a dum president this obama is mccain put obama against the wall we all say mccain is much stronger man this obama is weak kid not a man