Politics

Carville: White House ‘out of bounds’ in speech kerfuffle

Yesterday’s Congressional denial of a presidential request to speak before a joint session was unprecedented. And even Democratic talking head James Carville now says the responsibility falls squarely on the White House for making the call in the first place.

On ABC’s “Good Morning America”  Thursday, Carville joined his former Clinton administration colleague George Stephanopoulos to say there were no winners in the he said/he said skirmish between the White House and Speaker of the House John Boehner. Instead, it reinforced the view that Washington, D.C. is fundamentally dysfunctional and broken.

“[T]he last thing that the White House needed was to appear to cave in to the speaker and that’s what happened,” Carville said. “The last thing the Congress needed and the White House [needed] was to have a spat that looks like they couldn’t resolve anything.”

Carville dismissed the possibility of Obama’s proposals being enacted, reasoning instead that the president’s policy ideas would help with his 2012 re-election bid:

“This Congress is not going to pass anything that the president proposes. That’s pretty clear. Speaker Boehner said he got 98 percent of what he wanted in the last deal and the House Republicans are just not going to do it, so get whatever you do, get something that you’re going to stick to and run on it in 2012. It doesn’t matter if it’s little or small, it’s not going to pass.”

The former Clinton adviser said ideally he would have liked to see the high-stakes battle of a joint address and a Republican presidential debate on the same night, but the White House’s proposal was unfair.

“It would have been very interesting to see the Republican candidates respond almost in real-time to what the president said. Now they’ll have a day to get ready and prepare for it. I thought that would have been a good solution to this and where no possible conflict with football or anything else. But that’s not going to happen. And I do think this is a really big debate, and I think the White House was out of bounds in suggesting — in trying to schedule a speech during a debate.”