The White House continues to claim that President Obama’s jaunts around the country, billed as an effort to get Congress to pass his American Jobs Act, are actually an attempt to get Congress to pass his American Jobs Act.
But really, they’re an attempt to get reelected, and to try to prevent Republicans from doing the same.
Veteran CBS White House reporter Bill Plante possesses a sophisticated olfactory system that he’s fine tuned over many years to sniff out NONSENSE.
He likes to ask White House Press Secretary Jay Carney what the real reason is Obama is running around the country criticizing Republicans for rejecting a bill he knows they won’t pass, and then sending it over to Congress in individual pieces he knows they won’t pass. Instead of, say, negotiating with them.
Here’s an exchange he had with Carney today.
Q: So does what you say mean that the president has decided that there’s no way to work with the Republicans…
CARNEY: Absolutely not.
PLANTE: You meant, therefore, it’s important for him to take his case campaign style to people in states which are going to be critical for his reelection.
CARNEY: I know it sticks in your craw that the president actually leaves Washington and goes out and talks to the American people…
PLANTE: just asking.
CARNEY: But the president — the president believes very strongly that Republicans in Congress will not take action because he asks them to. I think that has been established over these nearly three years.
What he does also believe is that Republicans in Congress will take action if their constituents demand that they do it. So that is why he is out in the country talking about the need to pass the jobs act and why he was talking about the actions that he’s taking without Congress — because we can’t wait for Congress to act . . .
You know, he will continue to do these things and he’ll continue to press Congress to take action.
But, again, you’ve heard him out there. We’re being quite transparent, calling on the American people to call on Congress to do the things that the American people say they want done.
First of all, it’s always a sign someone at the White House is hiding something when they say, “We’re being quite transparent.”
Now, the odd thing about Carney’s response to Plante is that just moments before, he said this:
I would just point out that when you see this 100 percent Republican opposition, it’s totally disconnected from Republicans out in the country. It’s not just Democrats out there and — and the president.
It — you’ve seen the data; probably ABC’s own poll. I mean, it’s — they’re out of sync with Democrats, independents, Republicans, Americans who want Washington to act.
This means, in the White House view, that Republicans in Congress DON’T CARE ABOUT WHAT REPUBLICANS THINK. Because . . . they . . . because . . . what?
And so Republicans in the hinterland are going to listen to Obama, the theory goes – Obama – who has the approval of 40 percent of the nation and effectively no Republicans – and ask GOP lawmakers to pass Obama’s bill? Really? That’s the strategy?
And then if a few of them do contact GOP lawmakers, these Republicans who supposedly don’t care what their base thinks are going to suddenly support the legislation? After voting in lock-step against it?
Excuse me. Back to the real world.
So why, one reporter – I think it was still Plante – wanted to know, is Obama going to presidential battleground states to do this?
“Look,” said Carney, “I think he has been around the country, including to places that are blue and purple and red, making this case, and he will continue to move around the country to states of all colors.”
I guess technically this is true. It’s also true that Picasso used other colors during his “Blue Period.” But it was still his Blue Period.
And if Obama goes to Ohio one more time, they’re going to make him a common-law resident of the state.