During a wide ranging interview with Steve Kroft on CBS’ 60 Minutes, President Obama defended his record and said he did not over promise that he always believed that changing the culture of Washington would be a long term project. He blamed the GOP for intransigence in blocking his policies and reiterated that the more fortunate had to pay their fair share. On he economy he blamed Bush for the present mess and stated that it would take more than one term, perhaps more than one President to fix it. In other words, “Hope and Change” could have occurred if it had not been for the big bad GOP blocking him every step along the way.
“We’ve gone through an incredibly difficult time in this country. And I would be surprised if the American people felt satisfied right now. They shouldn’t feel satisfied. We’ve got a lot more work to do in order to get this country and the economy moving in a way that benefits everybody, as opposed to just a few.”
While Obama was blaming the GOP for blocking his policies, Steve Kroft reminded the President of the latest polls, in which 75% of Americans thought that the country was moving in the wrong direction and 54% believed that Obama doesn’t deserve re-election. Obama was asked why he should be reelected and rattled off a myriad of accomplishments during his term. These included, saving this country from a Great Depression and rescuing the auto industry. There’s also healthcare reform, financial reforms, ending “don’t ask, don’t tell” and decimating Al Qaeda, including the death of Osama bin Laden.
Obama said that more work was necessary on the economy and that he was being judged by an ideal and invoked a quote by Vice President Joe Biden, ‘Don’t judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative.’ ”
While the President may want to blame the GOP for the failure of the economy, and take some comfort in the recent drop of the unemployment rate from 9 to 8.6%, the reality is that his policies have had a direct impact on the economy. The House has send close to two dozen bills to the Senate, all of which have been ignored by the Senate. It seems the latest House bill on the payroll tax reduction extension might face the same fate. Yet it will be the Republicans that are the bad guys. Who exactly won’t compromise?
Obama started his “We can’t Wait” campaign a few weeks ago, signalling what his re-election strategy will be. Deflect the economic troubles and blame the GOP for the failure of implementing his policies. The speech on Wednesday at Osawatomie, Kansas kicked off his reelection campaign and strategy, making a clear distinction between his vision (distribution of income) with that of the GOP. In other words, according to Obama, he defends the middle class, while the GOP defends the rich. How absurd.
Since last week the payroll tax reduction has been a hot topic in Washington. The Senate rejected both a Republican and a Democratic bill. The House, late last week, introduced a new bill, which includes the extension of the payroll tax reduction, an unemployment benefit extensions and the XL Keystone Pipeline among others. The Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid said it was going nowhere in the Senate, while Obama said that he would veto any inclusion of the XL Keystone pipeline. According to the GOP the bill not only grants the extension, but also includes job creation initiatives. The XL Keystone Pipeline is expected to create 20,000 good paying union jobs immediately, while infusing millions of dollars into the economy.
While accusing the GOP of the inability to compromise, the President has demonstrated over and over again that his inability to compromise on any issues have put him in an ideological box, which hampers his ability to lead. A President’s function is to provide a vision for the country and then lead to implement that vision by talking to leaders of both parties.
Message for the President – The Democrats are not the only ones with good ideas. Maybe an effort should be made to reach out to Republican leaders with an open mind. Give up the ideology and implement policies that work for the whole country. In other words “Lead”.
He faulted the GOP for not having “an honest conversation” about the economic policies that caused the nation’s recession and complained that Republicans made a calculated decision to block most of his policies to inflict maximum political damage after he assumed office.
Asked by interviewer Steve Kroft whether he had made too many promises to Americans during his hope-and-change campaign in 2008, Obama insisted that he “always believed that this was a long-term project.”
The president said he knew that “reversing a culture here in Washington dominated by special interests would take more than year, more than two years, more than one term, probably take more than one president.” Washington Post