Whoops. Someone in the White House decided to be honest, but of course that wasn’t very good politics.
Now you realize, of course, President Obama’s American Jobs Act is not going to be passed by Congress, because it’s paid for with $467 billion in tax increases and includes provisions the GOP-controlled House won’t move.
Recognizing this reality too, somebody sent White House Press Secretary Jay Carney – or Jay Carney sent himself – out to tell the world that the president would be willing to take half a loaf and eat it. Here’s what Jay told reporters aboard Air Force One as it traveled early this afternoon to Columbus, Ohio.
We believe that Congress should act on the American Jobs Act right away. We believe that if Congress were to send a portion of the American Jobs Act, the President would, of course, not veto it. He would sign it, and then he would return to press the Congress to get the rest of the job done — because there is simply an urgent need in this country to grow the economy and put Americans back to work.
Well someone, perhaps in legislative affairs, rang up whoever gave Jay his talking points – or Jay himself – and probably explained that in poker, you DO NOT FOLD YOUR CARDS EVEN BEFORE THE HAND IS DEALT.
The White House was giving away its negotiating chips just one day after Obama sent the legislation to Congress, while also undermining his message that the American Jobs Act will save the world.
So a few hours after Carney spoke to reporters, White House reporters got this from the pool reporter who is traveling with Obama in Ohio.
A senior admin official came back to the press cabin during takeoff and contended with the idea (apparently in some story out there) that the president is willing to settle for piece-by-piece consideration of his jobs plan.
“We’re going to take this to them every day,” said the senior administration official, “and challenge them to pass the whole bill.”
I don’t know. You can’t really show me your hand and then ask me to forget what’s in it.
Anyway, Carney made clear that the White House fully intends to bully Republicans and use the issue for political gain if Obama gets anything less than the whole bill.
Congress will have a lot of explaining to do if, come the end of the year, they have done nothing to address Americans’ number-one priority, which is the need for the economy to get going and the need to put Americans back to work. They will still have a significant amount to explain if they only took some of the measures they could have taken, but not all of the ones.
And the White House knows it won’t get the whole bill. Which is the point. The American Jobs Act is a campaign measure, first and foremost.