Knoxville — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley expressed disappointment with President Barack Obama during his weekly Capitol Hill Report Thursday afternoon, July 10.
Grassley was asked whether or not he felt that Secretary of State John Kerry's playing of the guitar for Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong affected the dignity of the position and the United States. Kerry played the guitar at Yandong's request after lunch, according to the UK Telegraph.
Grassley was unaware of the circumstances surrounding Kerry's performance, so he did not want to comment. He considers Kerry among the hardest working Secretaries of State he has known.
"I believe he takes his job seriously," Grassley said of Kerry. What concerned him more, in the realm of awkward photo opportunities and decisions made by top-ranking officials, was Obama's decision to be filmed playing pool at a time of crisis at the United States' southern border. Grassley did not want to be critical of Obama or Kerry for taking a respite from their jobs, but felt Obama's decision was not a wise one.
Criticism of Obama continued when asked about the level of the President's involvement with Congress. The President criticizes Republicans for "blocking" legislation, but Grassley believes that Sen. Harry Reid deserves criticism as well, for not advancing Republican initiatives from the House and from Republican Senators.
"We get stymied all the time," Grassley said. He referred to the Senate, under Reid, as a "one-person show."
As for Obama's relationship with Congress, Grassley said it is widely known in Washington how little the President interacts with members of his own party. Obama's fellow Democrats have been known to be critical of the President because of this. Complaints are also lodged regarding the way Reid runs the Senate.