Chad’s Morning Brief: White House Warns That President Obama Could Go Around Congress, Senator Ted Cruz Calls on Obama to Apologize, and Other Top Stories
Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of January 27, 2014. Give me your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am. Remember, you can listen online at KFYO.com or on your iPhone/Android with the radioPup App.
The White House warned on Sunday that President Obama is willing to go around Congress if he can't work with them. According to the AP, President Obama will look to compromise on some priorities, on others though the President could use executive orders.
President Barack Obama will work with Congress where he can and circumvent lawmakers where he must, his top advisers warned Sunday in previewing Tuesday's State of the Union speech.
Obama faces a politically divided Congress on Tuesday and will use his annual address to demand expanded economic opportunity. Absent legislative action, the White House is telling lawmakers that the president is ready to take unilateral action to close the gap between rich and poor Americans.
"I think the way we have to think about this year is we have a divided government," said Dan Pfeiffer, a longtime Obama adviser. "The Republican Congress is not going to rubber-stamp the president's agenda. The president is not going to sign the Republican Congress' agenda."
So the White House is eyeing compromise on some priorities, Obama advisers said. But the president is also looking at executive orders that can be enacted without Congress' approval.
"The president sees this as a year of action to work with Congress where he can and to bypass Congress where necessary," White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
The act-or-else posture bristled Republicans.
"The president has sort of hung out on the left and tried to get what he wants through the bureaucracy as opposed to moving to the political center," said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the GOP Senate leader.
Added Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.: "It sounds vaguely like a threat, and I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance."
With campaigns for November's election on the horizon, there's scant reason for the White House to be optimistic about Republican support for measures to revive a bipartisan immigration bill that has passed the Senate, an increased minimum wage or expanding prekindergarten programs.
Republicans looking to wrest control of the Senate and keep their majority in the House instead want to keep the focus on the struggling economy and Obama's stewardship of it. The GOP is pinning hopes that voter frustration remains high and punishes Democrats on the ballot for Obama's tenure.
"His economic policies are not working," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.
The White House has been signaling to Republicans that it would not wait for Congress to act. It also is betting Obama's backers will rally behind his plans.
"When American jobs and livelihoods depend on getting something done, he will not wait for Congress," Pfeiffer wrote in an email to Obama supporters Saturday.
Following the speech, Obama will travel to Maryland, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Tennessee to promote the proposals he introduces Tuesday evening.
We all know what Obama compromising means. It means beating the Republicans and having the GOP cave. I wonder how much the Republican Party will stand-up to the President or if he will run over them in 2014.
Cruz Calls for an Apology
Senator Ted Cruz called on President Obama to apologize in Tuesday's State of the Union Address. Cruz isn't looking for a personal apology though, instead he wants the President to apologize to the American people for his failed policies according to the Dallas Morning News.
Sen. Ted Cruz called Sunday for President Obama to use his State of the Union speech to apologize for the “disaster” of Obamacare and for the fact that his own policies are making income inequality worse.
And an apology isn’t enough, he said.
“If you’re really sorry, you don’t just say you’re sorry. You actually do something to fix the problem,” Cruz said, appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation from Houston. (Transcript here.)
On the same program, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Austin, discussed security at the Sochi Olympics, saying: “It’s concerning. It’s a little spooky…[but] I don’t think it’s a time to be an alarmist and cancel.”
As for Cruz, here was his unsolicited advice as Obama prepares for Tuesday night’s annual address to Congress and the nation.
“One of the things President Obama really ought to do is look in the TV camera and say to the over 5 million Americans all across this country who’ve had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare, to look in the camera and say, `I’m sorry. I told you if you like your health insurance plan, you can keep it. I told you if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. And that wasn’t true. I’m sorry,’ ” Cruz said.
Host Bob Schieffer prodded Cruz repeatedly to say whether he’s willing to threaten another government shutdown – either over Obamacare, or as a pressure tactic ahead of the Feb. 7 deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling.
“I didn’t threaten to shut down the government the last time. I don’t think we should ever shut down the government,” Cruz insisted, as he has many times before, that he never wanted the two-week shutdown in October and wasn’t responsible for it.
Schieffer all but scoffed at the assertion.
“Senator, I know what Republicans were telling me, like John Boehner, who said this was a disaster and never again,” he said.
Later in the show, Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan, a Wall St. Journal columnist, said Cruz seems to be fighting to regain his footing after the government shutdown. And she wasn’t buying his refusal to take responsibility for the shutdown.
“I don’t think there are too many people who say that was a huge success… Ted Cruz is trying to come back, I think,” she said.
Schieffer also asked Cruz about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been coping with the fallout from a scandal in which close aides caused days of traffic snarls at the George Washington Bridge as political retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee, Cruz said he likes Christie.
“I think he is brash and outspoken, and I think it’s terrific that he’s been able to get elected twice as a Republican in a very blue state. I think it’s unfortunate he’s found himself in this mess, and I hope he can extricate himself. I’m certainly rooting for him to do so, because I think he’s an effective leader and I’d like to see him move on to governing New Jersey and not being mired in this scandal,” he said.
Until the bridge scandal, Christie was seen as a leading moderate alternative to Cruz in the 2016 race for the White House nomination. Cruz refused to give a straight answer to whether he’ll run for president – which seemed to leave Schieffer a bit exasperated.
“My focus is standing and fighting right now in the senate to bring back jobs and economic growth. Economic growth is my number one priority,” Cruz said, resorting to an oft-repeated talking point.
It's funny to hear all these Democrats and moderate Republicans running around saying that the government shutdown hurt the GOP and the country. Where is the proof? How exactly was the country hurt by the shutdown? Besides Democratic talking points, I've seen no examples of how hurt this country was.
Obamacare has had a far worse impact than the government shutdown but you won't hear Democrats talking about that will you?
Other Top Stories:
9:05am- Vikrant Reddy, Senior Policy Analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Right on Crime.
9:35am- Matt Mackowiak, GOP Strategist & Co-founder of MustReadTexas.com
These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.