President Obama has all but killed the Republican attempts to turn the problems at the IRS into a scandal by siding with the GOP, which negates any incentive that the Obama haters have for an investigation.
The president was first asked to assure the American people that nobody at the White House knew about this before April 22, and if he was opposed to a special council.
The president said, “My main concern is fixing a problem, and we began that process yesterday by asking for and accepting the resignation of the director there.” The president said that it was unacceptable for there to even be a hint of partisanship in the IRS. Obama said, “I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before it was leaked to the press.” The president said the actions described in that report were unacceptable. He said his administration was going to accept all of the recommendations in the IG report, and he is going to work with Congress in their investigation. “In terms of the White House and reporting…I promise you this. The minute I found out about it, my main focus was getting this thing fixed.” The president repeated that his administration is going to be working with Congress on the investigation. Obama said he was outraged by this because everyone is vulnerable to the actions of the IRS.
The whole reason why Republicans wanted to investigate this IRS “scandal” in the first place was because they thought it would lead to the White House. The answer that Republicans wanted to hear today was that the president isn’t going to work with Congress. They were hoping that Obama would take a defensive tone. They were dreaming that the president would act like his administration was hiding something, but he has done the exact opposite.
By adopting the position that he is the problem solver within the government, President Obama is taking away one of the key contentions that Republicans have been basing all of their scandal investigations on. House Republicans claim that they want to solve problems to make sure that these sorts of things never happen again. President Obama challenged them to prove it.
The White House is trying to out the partisan motives of the scandal chasing Republican led House. The president has also painted the Republicans into a corner. Either they have to work with Obama and his administration in a high profile way, or they will spin their wheels inventing another dead end conspiracy that most of America will reject.
I think we all know which option congressional Republicans will choose. Obama is handling this masterfully, and so far Obama’s second term “scandals” are turning out to be duds.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association