Once in a while, even U.S. presidents tell us how they really feel. Monday was one of those times for President Barack Obama.
Fresh off a two-week vacation, President Barack Obama told Democratic donors in Nevada that he’s feeling “feisty.” And in relating a conversation with the Senate Democratic leader, Nevadan Harry Reid, Obama got real about his opponents.
“We were doing a little reminiscing and then figuring out how we’re going to deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems,” Obama said at a fundraiser for the Nevada State Democratic Party. The room of about 100 donors burst into laughter.
So who are “the crazies?” Obama didn’t say, specifically.
“He may have been a bit flip with his remarks, but we have seen Republicans do wildly irresponsible things,” Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, told reporters on board Air Force One on Tuesday.
Obama faces a Republican majority in Congress set on blocking his agenda. Nothing new there. More immediately, he’s trying to round up support for a nuclear deal with Iran among Democrats in the face of solid Republican opposition.
Senator Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, said Tuesday that she would support the agreement, bringing Obama within five votes of the number needed to prevent Congress from blocking it.
New York Senator Charles Schumer of New York is the most prominent Democrat to deny Obama support for the Iran deal. Chances are Obama wasn’t talking about Schumer, though.
“He wasn’t talking about Iran when he made that remark,” Schultz said.
Several of the Iran deal’s opponents say they believe Obama was referring to them. One who was happy to wear the label: Bill Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, a conservative political magazine, and a vocal member of the opposition to the agreement.
“We ‘crazies’ wear his scorn as a badge of honor,’” Kristol tweeted on Tuesday.
Obama told the donors, who paid as much as $33,400 to attend the soiree at the home of Myra and Brian Greenspun, the publisher of the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, that members of his party “are not perfect” and also act irrationally at times.
“There are some folks in our party who sometimes are dogmatic,” Obama said. “But Democrats govern. Democrats are willing to do things that are hard.”