A leading Republican voice in the U.S. Senate said Wednesday that President Obama is making a grave mistake by attempting to punish his political foes, a move he said hearkens back to the ill-fated administration of President Nixon.
“Don’t start an enemies list,” Tennessee Republican Lamar Alexander admonished Obama in an interview with Reuters News. He said that Obama has been acting like Nixon 40 years ago when the scandal-plagued former president believed that "everybody is against us and we are going to get them." Nixon, who was forced to resign amid the infamous Watergate debacle, had compiled an "enemies list" of journalists, business and labor leaders as well as members of Congress and others.
Alexander, a former Tennessee governor who now heads the Senate Republican Conference, pointed to the Obama administration’s desire to strip the insurance industry of its exemption of federal anti-trust laws, "taking names" of bondholders who opposed the auto bailout, its reported aim to "neuter the U.S. Chamber of Commerce," boycotting Fox News Network and "calling out" of others who oppose it.
"I'm suggesting to the president that he back up and start over," Alexander told Reuters. "Don't start an enemies list. …We want to work with you. …We've been down this road before and it won't end well. An 'enemies list' only denigrates the presidency and the Republic itself."
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