President Obama mocked Republicans today for not having a jobs plan, and said, ’40 meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare isn’t a jobs plan.’
OBAMA: I am laying out my ideas to give the middle class a better shot in a 21st-century economy. Now it’s time for Republicans to lay out theirs. If they’ve got a better plan to bring back more manufacturing jobs, or create jobs rebuilding our infrastructure for the long run, or help workers earn the high-tech skills our businesses demand, let’s hear ’em. But gutting protections for our air and water isn’t a jobs plan. Gutting investments in things like education and energy isn’t a jobs plan. Putting all your eggs in the basket of an oil pipeline that may only create about 50 permanent jobs, and wasting the country’s time by taking something like 40 meaningless votes to repeal Obamacare isn’t a jobs plan.
Look, there are no gimmicks that create jobs. There are no simple tricks to grow the economy. What we need is a serious, steady, long-term American strategy that reverses the long erosion of middle class security and gives everyone a fair shot to get ahead. More good jobs that pay decent wages. A better bargain for the middle class. An economy that grows from the middle-out. This isn’t what I’m going to focus on just for the next few months; this is what I’m going to focus on for every one of the 1,270 days left in my presidency. Because this is where I believe America needs to go.
This is the second time in three days that the president has pointed out that the Keystone XL pipeline won’t create jobs. The fact that the White House has now woven it into his speeches suggests that Republicans may be waiting for presidential approval that isn’t coming.
Every Thursday, John Boehner holds his weekly press conference where he stands up before the media with his little blue pamphlet in his hand and tells the world how committed Republicans are to creating jobs. The cameras go off, and Boehner promptly goes back to trying to defund or repeal Obamacare. This is the way it has gone since Republicans regained control of the House.
Congress has a 12% approval rating. They deserve to be mocked and ridiculed at every turn. The president offered Republicans a grand bargain today. He said that he will work with them on reforming the tax code if the new revenue is put towards an effort to create middle class jobs. You can expect that “Jobs” John Boehner will reject this proposal outright, because Republicans want to use that money for more tax cuts. They have zero interest in creating jobs.
Republicans are all for the tax cutting part. They would love to see corporate taxes cut. It’s that whole job creation thing that they have a problem with. Republicans still believe that if they can keep the economy sluggish enough, they’ll take back the White House. It doesn’t occur to them that they will take any of the blame for sabotaging the nation’s employment situation. Republicans think that just saying the word jobs once a week is enough to fool the American people into believing that they care.
President Obama is calling their bluff. He is going to make the Republicans come out against creating middle class jobs. He wants Republicans to go on record as opposing middle class job creation. There is a critical election coming up next November, and President Obama is using these speeches on the economy to lay out a national Democratic platform. His speeches aren’t so much about what Obama can do today, but what the president could do with a Democratic led House behind him.
Beneath the mocking, the president set a shrewd political trap. He is daring House Republicans to go on the record as against creating jobs for the middle class. He wants them to reject another jobs plan. Obama is building the case for why the American people need to elect Democrats in 2014.
Republicans haven’t realized it yet, but President Obama’s 2014 campaign against them has already begun.
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