David Brooks to Obama: ‘Why don’t you do something more centrist?’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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On Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, The New York Times columnist David Brooks criticized President Barack Obama’s “Teddy Roosevelt” speech from earlier in the week, which Brooks said focused too much on “inequality” and ignored the need for economic growth.

Often when so-called conservative columnist Brooks calls upon conservatives not to be too far to the right, there’s a considerable amount of pushback. However, the Times columnist also offers that same advice to the left.

“I think it’s about growth,” Brooks said. “We have an inequality problem, there’s no question. But I think people – sometimes when you have – we want a strong, growing economy and we want strong wage growth. And that’s somewhat related to whether the top 1 percent get super bonuses, but it’s not totally related to that. And so you better have a strong story about generating economic growth.”

Brooks said just because the Republican Party is lurching to the right doesn’t mean that it gives license to Obama to go further to the left.

“And I didn’t see that story,” he continued. “And then, second, just politically, I agree with Mark (Shields), the Republican Party has gone very far right, but if they are singing the hymnal of Fox News, why do you sing to the hymnal of MSNBC? Why don`t you do something more centrist? Which is what I think he should have done. I think he should have acknowledged that not only do we have an inequality problem. We have got a growth problem and we have got a debt problem, which is the thing he entirely dropped.”


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