David Gregory to Axelrod: 'Shouldn't Obama Move to the Center?'
By Susie Madrak
Sunday Jan 31, 2010
Sometimes it's all I can do to stop myself from throwing something through the TV screen, like this morning when David Gregory kept pushing David Axelrod about moving to the center.
Now, I have to admit: It's been a shock for America to adjust to our radical new single-payer health care system, having the troops pulled out of the Middle East, and the president nationalizing the banks and resurrecting FDR's WPA, putting America's unemployed back to work -- all in the first year.
Yeah, in what freakin' universe?
If I ever have occasion to be in an elevator with David Gregory, I will have to ask him one burning question: "Just where the hell do you think the middle is?"
MR. GREGORY: Let me move on to domestic matters and that pretty extraordinary appearance on Friday in Baltimore at the House Republican retreat. The president came there, a kind of British style question-and-answer period. He even gets the blueprint for the Republican agenda from the House side. I wonder whether the decision to accept that invitation -- was there recognition on the president's part that if he wants to be more than a one-term president, he's got to govern from the middle?
MR. AXELROD: You know, David, I'd say a few things about that. First of all, the decision to attend was not a last-minute decision on our part, it was, it was, it was on the calendar, we were aware of it. The Republican caucus had been good enough to extend that invitation. And this is something that--we had visited the caucus before. But it's interesting the way you asked the question: Does he, does he--did he do it because he wants to be more than a one-term president? We don't sit around in the White House making calculations on that basis. The president of the United States has one concern, which is how do we move this country forward, how do we get people back to work, how do we lift incomes, how do we build some security for the middle class who have been facing economic challenges not just through this recession but for a decade or more? And, and that's what he's thinking about. And if we can get some cooperation from the other side to do that, we're going to be a stronger country for it. That's why he went to the caucus, and that's why we're going to continue to have a dialogue with Mr. Boehner and others.
MR. GREGORY: Does he feel, does he feel like he has to move to the middle to achieve?
MR. AXELROD: Again, I don't think this is a question of left, right or center, this is a question of what, what--what's--what works. How do we--now we've proposed, for example, tax cuts for small business. We, we, we passed without, frankly, the help of the Republican caucus, we passed 25 tax cuts last year, mostly aimed at the middle class and small businesses. The president's come back and said, "We need to do more." We've, we've gone from a period of rapid descent in our economy to, as we saw on Friday, 6 percent growth. But the job production has to be accelerated. And so he said, "Let's give a tax cut to small businesses to begin hiring--to encourage hiring." That was an idea that Mr. Cantor, Mr. Boehner's deputy, said was a good idea at one time, and he said that they would follow if we would lead on it. He said, "Let's eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses." He said, "Let's accelerate the tax break that businesses get for buying equipment so that they can, they can reap the benefit of it next year." Also, something that will encourage growth in--job growth. These are things we ought to be able to work together on, and we--and I hope we can.
The Overton window is stuck so far to the right, Gregory's comments are nothing but inane.