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Nation IN BRIEF : WASHINGTON, D.C. : Clinton Woes Blamed on Anxiety, Criticism

October 03, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The White House and Democratic lawmakers bemoaned President Clinton's slumping political standing, angrily blaming his problems on voter anxiety and critics who appeal to the worst in people. In an off-color shot clearly aimed at Republicans, Chief of Staff Leon E. Panetta said Clinton's foes take the easy way out by blocking reforms. "My Italian father used to say that the toughest thing to do is to try to build a barn. Any jackass can knock the barn door down. And we've got a lot of jackasses out there trying to do that." He did not name any names, or specifically mention the GOP. Republicans responded that their most visible effort to block the President's agenda was popular with voters and good for the nation. "Defeating the President's health care plan was the most positive thing that this Congress did. I'm proud of our role in it," Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.) said on ABC-TV's "This Week With David Brinkley."

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