President Obama said he is hopeful that Republicans in Congress will be more willing to compromise if he is reelected.
“I do think that should I be fortunate enough to have another four years, the American people will have made a decision,” Obama said in an interview with Timemagazine released Thursday. “And hopefully, that will impact how Republicans think about these problems. I believe that in a second term, where [Sen.] Mitch McConnell's [R-Ky.] imperative of making me a one-term president is no longer relevant, they recognize what the American people are looking for is for us to get things done.”
Lawmakers on both sides have made similar arguments, conceding that gridlock in Washington was unlikely to dissipate during an election year and that it would be time to reassess once voters have their say in the fall.
Obama also took aim at Republican vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Medicare proposal, which has surprisingly dominated discourse on the campaign trail in recent weeks.
The budget Ryan authored would allow Medicare beneficiaries to choose between traditional Medicare and federal subsidies with which to buy private insurance. Republicans call the reform a “premium support” system, while Democrats have labeled it a “voucher program” that will leave seniors taking out-of-pocket costs for top-line medical care.
Obama said Ryan’s proposal is something “that I won’t do.”
“I'm prepared to look at reforms in Medicaid,” he said. “I'm prepared to look at smart reforms on Medicare. But there are things that I won't do, and this is part of the debate we're having in this election. I do not think it is a good idea to set up Medicare as a voucher system in which seniors are spending up to $6,000 more out of pocket. That was the original proposal Congressman Ryan put forward. And there is still a strong impulse, I think, among some Republicans for that kind of approach.”