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Obama: It's "premature" to discuss veto of extension of Bush tax cuts

Obama, in an interview with National Journal, again refuses to say that he would exercise his veto power if Congress extends the Bush tax cuts, because he's hopeful that after the elections we're going to see a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation take hold:

"I think it's premature to talk about vetoes because maybe I'm a congenital optimist, but I feel as if, post-election, regardless of how it plays out, the most important message that will be sent by the American people is, we want people in Washington to act like grown-ups, cooperate, and start trying to solve problems instead of scoring political points," Obama said.

The president sounded a cautionary note for his fellow Democrats: "And it is going to be important for Democrats to have a proper and appropriate sense of humility about what we can accomplish in the absence of Republican cooperation. I think it's going to be important for Republicans to recognize that the American people aren't simply looking for them to stand on the sidelines, they're going to have to roll up their sleeves and get to work."

I'm not really sure what this is supposed to accomplish, given that the Dems' central message in the final stretch of the midterms is that the GOP wants nothing more than a revival of Bush policies, and that Dems are the last line of defense against that happening. Then there's the lack of enthusiasm among rank and file Dems, who want nothing more than to see a bit of fight in their leaders. And the fact that the best hope for Dems is for voters to see a sharp contrast between the two parties.

Then again, Obama got elected president and I didn't, so he surely knows what he's doing.

By Greg Sargent  | October 21, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, economy  
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Comments

Again, it is "premature" because Obama is not legally President of the United States!

FIRST, show us the birth certificate!

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The kumbaya pickpocket strikes again!

Posted by: Papagnello | October 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, sadly, it means that the President will return to making a higher priority out of bipartisanship than results.

When he does that, he puts more power into the minority's hands.

I miss LBJ.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | October 21, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

He said that before as well. Gibbs stated and I quote "It won't come to a veto" because they think Congress won't extend it on their own.

So they're going to be playing a bit of russian roulette given the tax cuts will expire at the end of Dec.

Posted by: calchala | October 21, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Greg for President! ;-)

I think that, while I want red meat, this tack is utterly presidential.

Republicans don't WANT to govern. Giving the Republicans in the 112th Congress a sense of responsibility is exactly what Obama needs to do, imho.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't you know everything will be alright, yes everything will be alright...

Obama: The Goody Feel Goody Musical While Everything Goes Wrong

Posted by: Papagnello | October 21, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I think you have to agree that Obama is correct no matter what side of the aisle you sit on. First, he won't need to veto because the Senate won't extend all the cuts - so why make the threat? Second, the GOP might not have enough support even in their own party to extend all the cuts - they can read polls, too.

Obama is laying the groundwork for an extension compromise. A bipartisan agreement on something (anything) would be a good way to begin the second half of his first term.

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

calchala, the GOP Congress can still pass a tax bill in February or March that "retroactively" cuts taxes as of January 1, 2011. Regardless of what happens, though, I am turning over a new leaf (of life) and will now have a humble, grateful response about whatever happens in this election.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

sbj -- the Senate very well may temporarily extend all the cuts. clearly on the table

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 21, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

SBJ is exactly right.

The only reason the Bush tax cuts are sunsetting is that the GOP lacked the votes to pass through ordinary process; they had to use reconciliation. If the GOP lacked the votes to make the cuts permanent when they had the majority in both houses and the Presidency, how could they have them now?

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Congenital is usually a bad thing....


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is laying the groundwork for an extension compromise. A bipartisan agreement on something (anything) would be a good way to begin the second half of his first term."

Agreed.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | October 21, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Greg writes:

"Then again, Obama got elected president and I didn't, so he surely knows what he's doing."


_________________


No, he doesn't.


You call fooling the American People in 2008 - and committing FRAUD against your own platform time after time in 2009 and 2010 - you call that "knowing what you are doing?"


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

OT (and funny)

TPM has discovered "evidence" that Christine O'Donnell may ACTUALLY be a witch:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/10/critical_issue_of_the_day.php#more?ref=fpblg

snark/

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 21, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Obama is out NATIONALIZING the election again.

Wow - why doesn't someone in the democratic party give this guy some good advice ???

This is like a football team, who needs 15 years for a first down, running a play that is sure to lead to at most 3 or 4 yards. I hate to see people play that way, on either side.

At this point, it is just stupid.

.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: "The Senate very well may temporarily extend all the cuts. clearly on the table."

Well that's what I'm saying! By my reading and understanding, I think Obama would threaten to veto a bill that made the rates *permanent* but would agree to a temporary extension of all the rates for the sake of getting something done that is good for the middle class in the spirit of compromise.

Obama and McConnell will shake hands and smile and claim a new era of humility and "We got the message." (Then they'll begin strategizing for 2012...)

Posted by: sbj3 | October 21, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been SEARCHING FOR AN ISSUE for six months.


They spend three weeks this fall on the "tax bracket - class warfare" thing - and all of a sudden it is PREMATURE TO TAKE A POSITION ON THIS ISSUE.


So WHAT position does Obama have on ANY issue?


He doesn't want foreign money in elections - THAT HAS BEEN ILLEGAL FOR 100 YEARS - Everyone agrees on that.


So what else does he have? Bait and switch to disclosure?


What is going on here???


OBAMA HAS NOTHING - THIS IS JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF OBAMA TELLING THE NATION "I GOT NOTHING."

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

BREAKING NEWS

Former Rep Lee Hamilton implies that Obama may have a secret channel and is secretly talking to the Ayatollah in Iran.


Oh wonderful, Obama is making a deal with an Ayatollah.

WHAT could possibly go wrong ???

.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Paco and sbj


I believe the reason the tax cuts have a sunset is because they wanted to play an accounting trick.

When they averaged in the last years of "full" tax cuts, the total cost of the 10 years was different.


Sounds like what Obama was doing, when he said the health care bill was "paid for" - when there is 10 years of revenue against 7 years of benefits - and $500 Billion has been transferred from Medicare to the health care program.


It was all an accounting trick - to get some 10 year average or something to sound better at the time.

The Congressional Budget Office also issues its statements based on certain rules - throwing in next year's taxes at a full rate made the CBO numbers look better as well.


.

Posted by: LeafofLife | October 21, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

LeafofLife:

The Bush tax cuts were passed using "reconciliation" which therefore required the 10 year sunset.

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

All, this has to be one of the most amazing right wing mailers ever:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/10/right-wing_groups_mailer_warns_1.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 21, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is not one to beat his chest, and say stuff like; make my day, and bring it on. That was the last guy in the White House.

If you need someone who will go around issuing premature threats, and saying stuff such as: you are either with us or against us, then Obama is not your man I happen to like his calm demeanor, and absence of childish braggadocio.

I think that it would be stupid to start threatening a veto now, before he knows how the election results turn out, or if he will even have to face such a decision.

If he started threatening a veto now; what would be the very next thing The Republicans would be claiming, and the Conventional Wisdom Claiming MSM would be braying about.

They would be saying:

President Obama admits that Republicans are going to win back the Senate, and he will be forced to veto their Tax extension bill.

Doesn't anyone in the media know how the game is played?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 21, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

"Then again, Obama got elected president and I didn't, so he surely knows what he's doing."

Hey, only took you TWO YEARS to figure that one out.


Posted by: converse | October 21, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

converse:

How long will it take YOU to realize you've been duped?

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Are Democrats Suffering from "Roverload"?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_newsroom/20101021/el_yblog_newsroom/the-fast-fix-is-attacking-karl-rove-good-political-strategy/

Posted by: JakeD2 | October 21, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

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