The teleprompter script for tonight’s speech by President Barack Obama is still a secret, but the White House’s script for spinning reporters, bloggers, and their audiences has been leaked to The Daily Caller.
White House officials distributed a set of talking points early Thursday to guide Democratic legislators and advocacy groups who will be filling up the airwaves, Internet message boards and printing presses before and after Obama’s speech tonight to a joint session of Congress.
The talking points repeat Obama’s favored campaign-trail themes, depicting the economy as a victim of President George W. Bush; the Republicans as unpatriotic and greedy partisans; and Obama as an optimistic, fair-minded, reformist, bipartisan, fiscal moderate.
Republicans spinners will likely disagree tonight with all of those depictions, and follow their own poll-tested script. Over the last few weeks, for example, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been working hard to shift the GOP’s message towards job creation rather than deficit-cutting. (RELATED: Boehner: Most Americans would choose pigskin over the president)
The White House’s pre-speech spin ramped up this morning when Carney appeared on morning TV shows to announce that the president’s package of proposals will be collectively titled “The Americans Jobs Act.”
The talking points begin with the claim that Obama’s proposals are “based on bi-partisan ideas” and “fully paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.”
The GOP will likely insist that this is a poll-tested euphemism for a tax hike on business owners.
Obama has very little time to spur the nation’s huge but stalled economy sufficiently for the public change their unfavorable impression of him before November 2012, so the talking points also urge liberal talking heads to claim his proposals will have swift benefits — “an impact on job and economic growth NOW — just as soon as Congress acts.”
To downplay any impression that Obama is acting in a partisan fashion, the script also declares that all of Congress — not just Republicans — is at fault. “Every day, people in this country are working hard to meet their responsibilities. The question now is whether Washington will meet theirs … The time for obstruction and gridlock is over. Congress needs to put country ahead of politics,” say the talking points.
The “country ahead of politics” claim has appeared in many of Obama’s speeches. The phrase suggests that GOP legislators and allies are unpatriotic, and is a notable turnaround from President George W. Bush’s tenure, when many Democrats claimed that their Republican critics were illegitimately questioning Democrats’ patriotism.
The White House talking points, as leaked to TheDC, are below:
The American Jobs Act is:
- based on bi-partisan ideas;
- it is fully paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share; and
- it will have an impact on job and economic growth NOW — just as soon as Congress acts.
- Every day, people in this country are working hard to meet their responsibilities. The question now is whether Washington will meet theirs.
- The time for obstruction and gridlock is over. Congress needs to put country ahead of politics.
- The American people know that the economic crisis and the deep recession weren’t created overnight and won’t be solved overnight. The economic security of the American middle class has been under attack for decades.
- That’s why President Obama believes we need to do more than just recover from this economic crisis.
- The President is rebuilding the economy the American way — based on balance, fairness and the same set of rules for everyone from Wall Street to Main Street where hard work and responsibility pay and gaming the system is penalized.
- It’s an American economy that’s built to last and creates the jobs of the future, by forcing Washington to live within its means so we can invest in small business entrepreneurs, education, and making things the world buys, not outsourcing, loopholes and reckless financial deals that put middle class security at risk.