President Obama: “I Am Not A Dictator”


Bloomberg reporter Julianna Goldman suggested in questioning today that President Obama may have been ducking some responsibility in the sequester battle.

“Give me an example of what I might do,” the President shot back testily noting that he’s “not a dictator.”

Meanwhile, here’s the oh-so-catastrophic sequester cuts, in context:


Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Spartacus

    Merriam Webster begs to differ.

  • opinionated

    He’s right he s a megalomaniac

    • flamemeister

      Same, same.

  • Roy_Bean

    Right, and Nixon wasn’t a crook.

    • LastBestHope

      Roy…Obama just made himself in the image of Nixon. His “I’m not a dictator” comment will live forever. Take a read about that famous quote. (And NOTE the money that was discussed. Nixon was small potatoes compared to Obama.)

      By Carroll Kilpatrick
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Sunday, November 18, 1973; Page A01

      Orlando, Fla, Nov. 17 — Declaring that “I am not a crook,” President Nixon vigorously defended his record in the Watergate case tonight and said he had never profited from his public service.

      “I have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice,” Mr. Nixon said.

      “People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.”

      In an hour-long televised question-and-answer session with 400 Associated Press managing editors, Mr. Nixon was tense and sometimes misspoke. But he maintained his innocence in the Watergate case and promised to supply more details on his personal finances and more evidence from tapes and presidential documents.

      The President was loquacious in his answers and at the end solicited a question on the charges that the administration raised milk support prices in exchange for campaign contributions from the milk lobby.

      Denying the charge, the President said Democrats led the fight in the House and Senate for higher support prices and pointed a gun at his head requiring him to boost support prices.

      The President acknowledged that he had “made a mistake” in not more closely supervising campaign activities. In a question on what he may do after he leaves office, he quipped that it depended on when he left.

      Then, becoming serious, he said that he would write but not speak, practice law or serve on boards of directors. One thing he will do is work for new rules of campaign procedures. He said he did not want to be remembered as a President who did many things but let his own campaign get out of hand.

      Mr. Nixon acknowledged under questioning that he paid only nominal income taxes in 1970 and 1971 but he did not give figures. He also said that his brother Donald’s phone was tapped for unexplained security reasons.

      Discussing energy conservation, Mr. Nixon drew laughter when he said that he had made a saving by refusing to allow a back-up aircraft to follow him on this trip.

      “If this one goes down,” he said in reference to his Air Force plane, “they don’t have to impeach.”

      While the President was nervous, he was not floored by any of the questions but answered them much as he does in any press conference.

      He flew here tonight from his Key Biscayne, Fla., home for the much-heralded question-and-answer period. He was well prepared, remembering dates and times when he held key meetings with various aides on Watergate matters.

      Summing up, he declared that the White House tape recordings would prove that he had no prior knowledge of the Watergate break-in, that he never offered executive clemency for the Watergate burglars, and in fact turned it down when it was suggested, and had no knowledge until March 21, 1973, of proposals that blackmail money be paid a convicted Watergate conspirator.

      Regarding the June 20, 1972, brief telephone conversation with former Attorney General John N. Mitchell, Mr. Nixon said no tape was made because the call was from the family quarters in the White House. He said he called to cheer up Mitchell because Mitchell was chagrined because he had not properly controlled those under him — in the re-election campaign, which he once headed, and the burglary was embarrassing the administration.

      Mr. Nixon said he was very greatly disappointed that the tapes of the Mitchell conversation and the April 15, 1973, conversation with former counsel John W. Dean III did not exist.

      He was told first on Sept. 29 or 30 this year that the tapes in question might not exist, the President said. After a search, it was determined on Oct. 26 that they did not exist, he said.

      He said he dictated a report on the Mitchell conversation, which does exist, and has notes on the Dean conversation which he has turned over to U.S. District Court Judge John J. Sirica.

      His own taping system was “a little Sony with lapel mikes” at his desk, and it was not as good as the system President Johnson had, Mr. Nixon said.

      But the tapes can be heard, he said, and will prove that he was not involved in the Watergate cover-up, he insisted.

      When he was asked about a report in the Providence Journal that he paid $702 in income taxes in 1970 and $878 in 1971, Mr. Nixon congratulated the paper on its sources of information but did not confirm or deny the figures, although he said they were nominal. He said he paid $79,000 in income taxes in 1969.

      After Mr. Nixon entered office, former President Johnson told him he had given his presidential papers and that he, Mr. Nixon, could give his vice-presidential papers to the government for a tax deduction.

      The Internal Revenue Service appraised the papers at $500,000 and the people who prepared his returns took that deduction, the President said.

      “I can only say that what we were told was the right thing to do and of course what President Johnson has done before. And that doesn’t prove certainly that it was wrong because he had done exactly what the law required. Since 1969 of course I should point out presidents can’t do that.”

      Mr. Nixon said the government could give him back the papers any time and he could make more than $500,00 by publishing them.

      “I am the first President since Harry Truman who hasn’t owned any stock” since taking office, Mr. Nixon said.

      When he left office as Vice President in 1961 his net worth was $47,000, he said. “In the next eight years, I made a lot of money,” he said.

      Mr. Nixon said he made $250,000 from his book, “Six Crises,” and earned between $100,000 and $250,000 a year practicing law.

      In 1968, he said, he sold all his stock for about $300,000, his new New York condominium apartment for $300,000, and received $100,000 due him from his law firm.

      “I made my mistakes,” he said, “but in all of my years of public life I have never profited from public service.”

      When asked whether Donald Nixon’s telephone was tapped by the Secret Service, the President said the Secret Service “did maintain a surveillance. They did so for security reasons, and I will not go beyond that. They were very good reasons, and my brother was aware of it.”

      The President did not use the phrase “national security,” but only “security.” When questioned further he said the surveillance “involved not what he was doing (but) others who were trying to get him, perhaps to use improper influence and support might be doing, and particularly anybody who might be in a foreign country.”

      [In September, the Washington Post quoted reliable sources as saying Mr. Nixon ordered his brother’s phone tapped because he feared that his brother’s various financial activities might embarrass the administration.]

      Asked if his brother was aware of the surveillance, he said. “He was aware during the fact, because he asked about it, and he was told about it. And he approved of it. He knew why it was done.”

      The questioning continued to focus on Watergate almost for the entire hour even though the President seemed pleased when he got a few questions on other subjects.

      When asked whether he still thought former aides John D. Ehrlichman and H.R. (Bob) Haldeman were fine public servants, as he once characterized them, Mr. Nixon called them “dedicated, fine public servants, and it is my belief, based on what I know now, that when these proceedings are completed that they will come out all right.”

      • LastBestHope

        It’s astonishing looking back.. Nixon held a 1 hr press conference, took all questions from aggressive reporters who got to ask anything they wanted about Watergate and other sensitive issues. His answers may have been lies but he didn’t try to hide behind the “can’t comment due to an ongoing investigation” excuse.

        That kinda free-wheeling give and take has never happened during the Obama years. Not once.

        • Atari

          Watergate isn’t as sensitive as information regarding the War on Terror. American lives weren’t at risk and information couldn’t reach the other side of the globe instantaneously under Nixon.

          Yes, the attack on the consulate which resulted in the death of several Americans was a tragedy, but placing it on the same level as Watergate in terms of corruption is ridiculous, and arguing that its the same level of sensitivity happens to be even more ridiculous.

          A very large number of military operations are events the public never even hears about, entirely because of sensitivity. Just because the administration doesn’t pour out information to the public does not mean CONSPIRACY!

      • Spartacus

        does Readers Digest offer a condensed version?

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    If you have to say you’re not a dictatorl….well, you get the idea.

  • Simon

    Obama was on the news tonight claiming he did nothing wrong, doesn’t know how he could have done anything differently. The guy is absolutely clueless.

    Remember one of the biggest criticisms of Bush was he could never admit he was wrong. The critics kept harping that line over and over and over again. Where are those voices now?

  • Simon

    Democrats thought they had Republicans over a barrel a few months ago because of the looming tax increases for just about everybody. In a sense, they were right.

    The tables have turned.

    The GOP compromised, and as a result they now have little incentive to raise more taxes as Obama wants. And they can block any effort to stop the automatic spending cuts over the next decade.

    The best way for the left to save face is come to the table and negotiate where the cuts will take place, but not how much will be cut. Obama doesn’t believe there is a government spending problem, but he is being forced to accept spending cuts. He has an opportunity to lead, but is nothing more than a hapless caricature. Don’t look for mature leadership from him.

    Of course, if the Democrats regain control of the House in a couple of years, we’re screwed again.

    • Atari

      There is few grounds for painting President Obama as “hapless caricature.” If anyone is refusing to compromise, it is the GOP. Economists around the world will agree that meaningful tax reform (ie. Closing loopholes, raising taxes on the one percent, etc…) help provide funds for more government programs. History has proven that spending is ideal for long term growth, as pumping jobs into the economy acts as a far better solution than taking them away.

      The sequester had a purpose. Congress itself was designated to resolve the issue and place the money in meaningful programs, not the executive branch. The tax spike offered to Congress at the end of 2012 acted as a compromise to push the sequester back a few months, and nothing more. The President owed nothing to Congress in terms of compromise after that.

      Regardless, the president provided an alternative plan and the House shot it down. That was his attempt at compromise, and he was trimming where he didn’t want to trim in an exchange for a minor tax hike on the wealthiest 1%.

      If he had hijacked the whole thing and pushed it through with his ideal plan, a very large probability exists that you would be complaining that he controlled it too much when he wasn’t supposed to.

  • LastBestHope

    The federal bureaucracy had made themselves invulnerable to ordinary budget reform. Because of their unions, by their seniority rules, thru the sheer size and mass of their omnipresent fingers being in every federal pie, the walls to stop any kind of downsizing were made impenetrable. Presidents came and went and so did thousands of Congress-folk….none could touch the federal bureaucrat’s longevity. Any attempt to reduce the federal behemoth was stopped by the beast itself. The politics of shrinking the government was always made deadly to any politician or political party who attempted to do the deed.

    Until now.

    In a joint agreement between the 2 major political parties, likely made some years ago, where the blame is left clouded and no one is exactly sure how it actually came to pass….federal employees Will Soon Be Furloughed.

    Think about it.

    It’s never happened before and could not ever have happened under “normal” circumstances. But very soon…. the federal government will be Less. Less.

    It’s a start.

  • JoeMN

    This is all reminiscent of the Firemen First Principle.

    • $8194357

      The chicken cuts and runs?

  • LastBestHope

    ”Watch what we do, not what we say.’‘

    That’s what newly-appointed US Attorney General John Mitchell announced at
    the beginning of the Richard Nixon Administration in 1969

  • TexasJew

    And you’re not black either, dipshit.

  • Kevin Flanagan
  • $8194357

    Well hes not much of a president thats for sure.

  • flamemeister

    “I’m not a dictator, I just play one in the White House.”

    Bumper Sticker: Obama: “I am not a dictator.” Good times!

    • $8194357

      Soros etal is the power behind the dictator puppet wanna be…

  • mickey_moussaoui

    obama is a pathological perfidious charlatan and a dictator wannabe

    • $8194357

      Hopefully he ends up in a sick bed like Chavez his ideological brother.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Nixon opened relations with China…obama sold us to China

    • $8194357

      Soros and team Billary got the ball rolling on that long ago, IMO.

  • Thresherman

    He not a dictator and he’s not a chronic whiner either.

    From the AP this morning

    “BREAKING: Obama signs order to begin $85 billion in spending cuts that he
    opposed but couldn’t avert – SM”

    AP = All Propaganda

    • $8194357

      All propaganda all the time.

  • $8194357

    “I am not a dictator. I am the president.”
    Does he understand the difference?
    (thanks to Drudge)

    “I am not a dictator.”
    Not yet, anyway.

    “I am not a dictator.”
    Yeah, and Nixon said, “I am not a crook,” but he was.

    “I am not a dictator.”
    And I am not a 70-year-old woman. But give it time…
    (Pam Geller)

    “I am not a dictator.”
    I am just an authoritarian enemy of free speech who is increasingly
    unwilling to brook any opposition.

    “I am not a dictator.”
    …but I replaced the portrait of Lincoln in the Oval Office
    with one of Comrade Stalin.

    “I am not a dictator.”
    Soros is the dictator.
    I’m just the beard.

    “I am not a dictator.”
    But I am an anti-Semitic nutrition freak who (officially) hates smoking
    and loves his dog and who wants to raise a private army.
    Hmmm, how would I look with a Charlie Chaplin mustache?

    “I am not a dictator.”
    I just thought it would be fun to fly some drones over Iowa.

    “I am not a dictator.”
    All that ammo that DHS is stockpiling domestically is for…
    an alien invasion, yeah, that’s it, an alien invasion.

  • awfulorv

    “Methinks the lady doth protest too much”. Bill Shakespeare

  • devilschild

    He’s not a dictator…just a dick.

    • Van

      A tator dick, actually.

      • two_amber_lamps

        a dick tater tot salad?

      • devilschild


  • $8194357

    Communist or muslim supremicist?

    Barry is a wanna be dictator…..

    It’s like I have been saying for years:
    this is the agenda, this is the objective.
    Islam in America.

    ‘We are above the law of the land’
    March 3, 2013
    Muslim’s stunning claim at Texas rally for Islam

    A leader for the Texas branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
    has told a crowd at a rally for Islam that members of the faith really shouldn’t be bound by American law.

    “If we are practicing Muslims, we are above the law of the land,”
    said Mustafa Carroll, the executive director of the Dallas-Fort Worth CAIR branch,
    a keynote speaker as the recent rally.

  • Hannitized, Proofs obsession