President Barack Obama is partly blaming his family and children for his inability to lessen Washington’s partisanship and gridlock during his first term.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday show, Jessica Yellin said she interviewed Obama for a forthcoming documentary and asked him why he did not do more outreach to Republicans in the beginning of his term to bridge the divides Obama often rails against.
Yellin said Obama told her one of the reasons he did not was because he wanted to spend more time at home with his kids and family.
“He was trying to spend some time at home with his family in the evenings and on the weekends,” Yellin said.
Yellin noted Obama suggested things may be different in the second term when his kids are older.
“If this was such a priority, why didn’t he do it?,” Yellin asked. “You can carve out one night a week to go out and socialize and reach across the aisle.”
Obama ran a campaign in which he said he would unite “red America” and “blue America.” And even though Democrats controlled Congress during his first two years in office and still control the Senate, Obama is trying to run against what he often calls the “Republican Congress,” which he is trying to blame for making partisanship and gridlock worse in Washington.
Obama and his campaign have also tried to tie Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to this “Republican Congress,” but Ryan has often noted that even though he is the House Budget Chairman, he has not met with Obama in over a year.
From Yellin’s interview, though, it seems like a president who puts a premium on bipartisanship on the stump did not even care to work with or get to know Republicans in order to make bipartisanship more likely upon coming to Washington.