Politics

George Will backs off call for GOP to take focus off winning White House to take Congress

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

In his March 2 Washington Post column, George Will put forth the “Plan B” for stopping President Barack Obama.  That plan was for Republicans to cede the White House and put an emphasis on winning both chambers of Congress.  That call was met with criticism from those on the right who believe taking the presidency and winning Congress aren’t mutually exclusive.

But on Sunday’s broadcast of “This Week” on ABC, Will seemingly backed off that call.  He explained that his so-called “Plan B” was meant for a time when the White House looked unwinnable, which he said has not yet arrived.

“My position then, as now, was there may come a point, I said, when political assets being finite — enthusiasm, time and money —you might want to concentrate on getting all of the gavels of the committees of Congress in the Republican hands because Obama can’t be beaten by these people,” Will said. “It’s not yet time to do that.”

Will said that there were reasons for Republicans to keep fighting for the White House. In particular, the fact that Obama’s poll numbers were so closely impacted by fluctuations in gas prices, Will said, should give Republicans hope.

“What Haley [Barbour] said a moment ago is right,” Will continued. “I mean, things are going badly for Republicans. Things are going reasonably well in the economy, at least by the normal metrics. The president’s job approval is going down, driven by gas for Pete’s sake, which tells you how fragile and brittle his support is there. So, at this point, I would say no, keep fighting, but prepare to retrench.”

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