President Obama: GOP should be 'embarrassed' by low productivity in Washington

Republicans ought to be “embarrassed” of their record low productivity during their time in charge of the House of Representatives, President Barack Obama said Thursday.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the president said Republicans shouldered most of the blame for gridlock in Washington, especially as GOP lawmakers tend to the ideological concerns of their party’s conservative flank.

“They’ve got to be embarrassed,” the president said on a special edition of “Hardball” that aired Thursday evening. “Because the truth of the matter is they’ve now been in charge of the House of Representatives – one branch or one chamber in one branch of government – for a couple of years now. They just don’t have a lot to show for it.”

As the White House works to move past a rocky few weeks in which Republicans seized upon the troubled launch of key portions of Obama’s signature health reform law, the president has pivoted to highlight inaction on Capitol Hill.

Obama has spent much of this week hammering Republicans in Congress for failing to take action on his agenda – or worse, even proposing a viable alternative.

“So the problem is not, generally speaking, on the Democratic side. And obviously I’m partisan here, but objectively, I think you can look at it and you can say that the big challenge we’ve got is you’ve got a faction of the Republican Party that sees compromise as a dirty word, that has moved so far to the right that it would be difficult for Ronald Reagan to win the nomination for the Republican Party at this point,” Obama said of the slow pace of legislating. “And as a consequence, it is more challenging.”

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