The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Mon September 12, 2011

Obama Chooses Republicans' Words Carefully To Say They're Playing Politics

At the White House today, President Obama criticized what he said is a view among some Republicans that they don't want to work with him on passing a jobs bill — even when many of the things he's proposing are measures they've supported in the past — because it wouldn't be good for the GOP politically:

"There are some in Washington who'd rather settle our differences through politics and the elections than try to resolve them now," he said.

"In fact, Joe [Biden] and I, as we were walking out here, we were looking at one of the Washington newspapers and it was quoting a Republican aide saying, 'I don't know why we'd want to cooperate with Obama right now. It's not good for our politics.' That was very explicit.

"I mean, that's the attitude in this town — 'yeah, we've been through these things before, but I don't know why we'd be for them right now.' The fact of the matter is the next election is 14 months away. And the American people don't have the luxury of waiting 14 months for Congress to take action."

In a Politico story that was posted late last evening, a "senior House Republican aide who requested anonymity to discuss the matter freely" is quoted as saying:

"Obama is on the ropes; why do we appear ready to hand him a win?"

There's a second part to that aide's quote, though:

"I just don't want to co-own the economy by having to tout that we passed a jobs bill that won't work or at least won't do enough."

Also in that story, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) says "to assume that we're naturally for these things because we've been for them does not mean we will be for them if they cause debt, if they [have] tax increases and if they take money from the free-enterprise sector, which creates jobs."

The president also didn't mention that some GOP leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) have said there seems to be room to work with the White House on the jobs plan.

So, we wonder:

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.