“The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you can’t change Washington from the inside. You can only change it from the outside.”
Obama has said this before — as recently as July, and as early as February — so it’s nothing new. But Republicans are already jumping on the quote as a tacit admission from the president that he has failed the “hope and change” promise he brought to Washington four years ago.
“We’re gonna give him that chance in November,” Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said campaigning in Florida about an hour afterward. “He’s going outside!”
Here’s the rest of the relevant Obama quote, which expands upon the point he was trying to make:
“That’s how I got elected. That’s how the big accomplishments like health care got done — because we mobilized the American people to speak out. That’s how we were able to cut middle-class taxes. So, something I’d really like to be able to concentrate on in my second term is being in a much more constant conversation with the American people, so that they can put pressure on Congress to move some of these issues forward.”
The Obama sound bite has buried the first part of Obama’s answer: He admitted that his “biggest failure” was an inability to produce comprehensive immigration reform, though he placed much of the blame for that on Congressional Republicans that voted “no” on the DREAM Act.
Here’s video of Obama’s “change” quote: