President Obama’s senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer was on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, pointedly reminding House GOP that the President was not re-elected in order to enact the Romney budget.
Pfeiffer schooled the GOP, saying, “What this president will not do is, come in, right after getting re-elected, and enact the Romney economic plan, which is what the Republicans in the House are proposing.”
Watch here via ABC:
TRANSCRIPT via NBC (with some modifications, my bold):
Stephanopoulos: The white house adviser Dan Pfeiffer. Let’s begin with budget.
It’s going to come out on wednesday. It will include, for the first time, cuts to social security and medicare. Already house Speaker John Boehner has dismissed them.
And a lot of democrats are worried that the president is turning his bottom line in negotiations into an opening bid, how do you respond to that concern? Do you think it will change the dynamic? It’s important to understand that what’s in the president is the offer that he put to Speaker Boehner in december.
Pfeiffer: And what this does, it shows one, the president is serious about trying to find a balanced solution to our deficits and have a comprehensive economic plan. And it shows we don’t have to choose between deficits and job creation and economic growth. You can do both.
It includes bringing jobs back to america, preschool for everybody. While still bringing our debts down to levels that are talked about by the commission. It doesn’t seem to change the dynamic at least so far.
Stephanopoulos: Here’s part of what Speaker Boehner said, if the President believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore-up these programs there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. If it’s a good idea, why not just do them? First, the senate passed the budget.
Pfeiffer: The hope is, the houses can come together to work to find a compromise. The President’s focus, in addition to the members of congress, is to try a caucus of common sense, folks who are willing to compromise. They don’t think compromise is a dirty word.
And try to get something done. If the Speaker’s position remains his position, we will not make progress. What this president will not do is come in, right after getting re-elected, and enact the romney economic plan.
Which the republicans in the house are proposing.
Stephanopoulos: If the republicans particularly in the house, take my way or the highway approach, we’re not going to get a deal. You’re going to have a lot of resistant from democrats and republicans… (snip)
Pfeiffer:…The cpi is something that the president will only change on two conditions, something that Speaker Boehner and McConnell asked for on two conditions: One, that it’s part of a balanced package.
And two, that it has protections for the most vulnerable, including the oldest seniors some carveouts there.
Pfieffer is reminding the media and the Republicans that Obama already took his budget to the voters and has their political will behind him. Surely Republicans remember Bush’s troubling 2004, “I earned political capital, and now I intend to spend it” claims. Bush, whose margin of victory was dubious, learned a lesson about his hubris when he tried to Republicanize Social Security. President Obama, on the other hand, won by a large margin and he won by running on his economic agenda – the very heart of this debate.
President Obama ran on his economic agenda, and the voters re-elected him. Even before all of the votes were counted, Obama’s popular margin of victory was bigger than both of George W Bush’s “victories”.
After the dust settled, Obama’s margin grew by even more. He was, according to Bloomberg, “(T)he first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the national popular vote twice.”
Now Republicans want to force their agenda upon the nation, regardless of voters’ wishes.
In order to achieve this, Republicans are once again moving the goal posts in an attempt to disguise their unwillingness and inability to pass any budget other than the Ryan/Romney plan. Speaker Boehner rejected Obama’s proposal before he read it, even though it included the one thing – chained CPI – both he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConell (R-KY) said they needed in order to raise revenues.
Obama offered chained CPI in his budget. Boehner rejected it. Now he claims that he can’t raise taxes at all, when just last December, Republicans agreed to raise revenue if they could get chained CPI.
Liberals are not happy with Obama’s offer, and most agree that chained CPI is bad policy. Pfeiffer clarified that the cuts to earned benefits would only happen a) because Boehner and McConnell insisted on them and b) if Republicans closed tax loopholes and protected our most vulnerable citizens.
But that’s not how Republicans roll. In December they wanted chained CPI in order to give any on revenues. In April, after getting chained CPI, they want the President to enact the rejected Romney budget. As a reminder, Republicans only have the majority in the gerrymandered House.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.