Obama White House on Legislating: "That phase is behind us"
Rose Garden speech "marked the end of the governing season"
Grappling with persistent high unemployment and increasingly fearful about the future, Americans are looking for focused leadership from Washington to support job creation. They expect leaders to find common ground and make taming joblessness their top priority. Unfortunately, the White House has another focus. In a remarkable admission in today’s New York Times, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer makes clear that the administration is no longer focused on governing:
“It is fair to say we’ve entered a new phase,” said Dan Pfeiffer, Mr. Obama’s communications director. But he disputed what he called the conventional wisdom behind the president’s shift.
“The popular narrative is that we sought compromise in a quixotic quest for independent votes. We sought out compromise because a failure to get funding of the government last spring and then an extension of the debt ceiling in August would have been very bad for the economy and for the country,” Mr. Pfeiffer added. “We were in a position of legislative compromise by necessity. That phase is behind us.”
There’s a saying that ‘a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.’ In revealing that the White House is no longer interested in working across the aisle to put America’s needs first, we have confirmation of what had become increasingly clear: the President’s recent proposals were not serious legislative efforts to help put the American people back to work. Loading up his plans with gimmicks and job-crushing tax hikes opposed by members of both parties, the President seems more interested in running against Congress than working with it. As NBC News described the shift:
Indeed, with some 14 months until Election Day 2012, Obama’s speech yesterday essentially marked the end of the governing season and the beginning of the campaign.
It’s going to be a long 14 months for the American people if the President is putting governing behind him until after the 2012 election. Republicans have made clear we are interested in finding common ground with the President to support job creation. In fact, last week Republican leaders released a detailed memo outlining specific proposals that offer potential opportunities for bipartisan cooperation. While Republicans continue to seek that common ground, it appears we shouldn’t hold our breath. So as we call on the President to rethink his priorities, the House will continue to advance our Plan for America’s Job Creators and put job creation above all else – rather than “behind us.”