Bob Woodward: Obama’s absence in shutdown talks ‘a baffling element’
In a break with conventional political wisdom, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward says that President Obama’s avoidance of talks to avert a potential government shutdown is “baffling” and could hurt him politically.
“He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling — a reasonable position, ‘I will not be blackmailed,’ he said. But he should be talking, they should be meeting and they should be discussing this because as I think Steve Rattner showed earlier, the America economy is at stake and the president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad it’s going to be on his head,” Woodward said on Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Woodward argues that history would judge Obama harshly if a shutdown occurs.
“The history books are going to say, ‘We have an economic calamity in the presidency of Barack Obama,’” Woodward continued. “Speaker Boehner is indeed playing a role on this. Go back to the Great Depression in the 1930s, I’ll bet no one can name who was Speaker of the House at the time — Henry Thomas Rainey. He’s not in the history books. It’s on the president’s head. He’s got to lead, he’s got to talk. And the absence of discussion here I think is a baffling element.”