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What They Are Saying…About The President’s Address

- July 26, 2011

Obama’s Speech Offers Little More Than Political Rhetoric, As His Desire To Raise Taxes Leaves Him Isolated From Both Parties

OBAMA IS THE LAST MAN IN WASHINGTON TALKING ABOUT TAX HIKES

CNN’s Gloria Borger:  "What was interesting also is that the debate we've been having in Washington today seems to have moved beyond the tax increases. At least in the short term, nobody today is talking about tax increases except Barack Obama, who still talked about that tonight in his speech.  The plan by Harry Reid contains no tax increases, in the short term.  The plan by John Boehner contains no tax increases." (CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight,” 7/25/11)

Tina Brown: “[I]t did seem kind of retro in the sense that the whole tax situation is off the table anyway. So it's like why is he saying that again?” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 7/25/11)

The Wall Street Journal: “One Irony Is That Mr. Obama’s Demands For Tax Increases Have Already Been Abandoned By Members Of His Own Party In The Senate.” “One irony is that Mr. Obama's demands for tax increases have already been abandoned by Members of his own party in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid knows that Democrats running for re-election next year don't want to vote to raise taxes, so he's fashioning a bill to raise the debt ceiling that includes only reductions in spending. But Mr. Obama never mentioned that rather large fact about Mr. Reid's effort.” (Editorial, “A Leadership Default,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/26/11)

Roll Call: Obama “Reiterated His Push For Revenues, Even Though Senate Democrats Caved On That Issue.” “The president reiterated his push for revenues, even though Senate Democrats caved on that issue when Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) offered his alternative debt ceiling proposal Monday.” (Steven T. Dennis, “Obama And Boehner Trade Blame For Stalemate,” Roll Call, 7/25/11)

The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin: “It Was A Speech Entirely Divorced From Reality.” “It was a speech entirely divorced from reality. The Senate Democrats can’t pass tax hikes. The grand bargain can’t get through the Congress with jumbo tax hikes. It is he who rejected a deal that had the agreeement of House and Senate leaders.” (Jennifer Rubin, “Two Speeches, Two Visions,” The Washington Post’s “Right Turn” Blog, 7/25/11)

AND OFFERED NO PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP IN FINDING A WAY FORWARD

ABC News' Amy Walter: "I'm still confused at what Obama sees as way forward." (Amy Walter, Twitter Feed, 7/25/11)

The Hill: “Obama Did Not Lay Out Any New Plans Monday Night.” “Obama did not lay out any new plans Monday night, offering instead an endorsement of the latest plan from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid while at the same time asserting that taxes and entitlement programs will still need to be reformed.” (Sam Youngman, “Obama Takes His Case To Primetime, Rips GOP ‘Cuts-Only’ Proposals,” The Hill, 7/25/11)

Politico: Obama “Offered No Hint Of A Solution To The Escalating Political And Financial Crisis.” “President Barack Obama elbowed his way back into the debt ceiling debate Monday night, three days after Republicans shoved him out, but he offered no hint of a solution to the escalating political and financial crisis.” (Carrie Budoff Brown And Glenn Thrush, “Obama Reasserts Himself; Boehner Pushes Back,” Politico, 7/25/11)

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “I was surprised that the president did not make news.” (MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” 7/25/11)

  • Lawrence O’Donnell:  “I understand that he had to teach some basic things about this to the general public, but he doesn't get another chance at this, does he? The national address over the stalemate on the debt ceiling, if he was going to make news about it, wouldn’t he have to have done it here?” (MSNBC’s “ Rachel Maddow Show,” 7/25/11)

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “He asked for time in primetime, to go on national television, usually presidents want that if they want to make an announcement, to make news, as you put it. But clearly, he did not tonight.” (MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” 7/25/11)

CBS’ Bob Schieffer: “So, nothing really new in what the President said tonight but just laying out the reasons why he thinks this is so serious and why he thinks they ought to do it his way.” (CBS’ “Special Report,” 7/25/11)

  • CBS’ Norah O’Donnell: “Nothing new in terms of policy but certainly a new political message tonight…” (CBS’ “Special Report,” 7/25/11)

INSTEAD, HE TRIED TO SCORE POINTS WITH A “POLITICAL” SPEECH

The Wall Street Journal: “This Was More Like A DNC Fund-Raiser Than An Oval Office Address.” (Editorial, “A Leadership Default,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/26/11)

The New Republic: “The most rational explanation for Obama's speech is that he's positioning himself for failure. He's explaining his position so that when Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling, Americans will blame the Republicans and not him.” (Jonathan Chait ,“Obama Prepares For Stalemate,” The New Republic, 7/26/11)

MSNBC’s Chris  Matthews: “The President shouldn't have gone on national television to give a political address.” (MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show,” 7/25/11)


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