Time Magazine's Scherer Insists: Obama Has a Plan

Appearing on MSNBC this afternoon, Time Magazine's Michael Scherer set out to debunk a non-existent Republican red herring on the debt ceiling debate on Friday's News Nation. "The President has been negotiating behind the scenes, has put forward a number of proposals and he's gone public with the outlines of a proposal he is willing to accept," said Scherer.

Scherer also seems to think that saying good things about other plans constitutes having a plan. "He's also endorsed the Reid plan, he's said good things about the Gang of Six plan, but Republicans because they are the legislative body here in the House complain that the president doesn't have a plan, there is no plan, he's put nothing on the table and it's just misleading at this point," said Sherer. Scherer did not mention that the White House has not yet backed an actual legislative plan on paper to resolve the debt ceiling fight.

In fairness to Scherer, he also did take apart a common media narrative that Republicans aren't interested in compromise. "It is true that Republicans don't like that word compromise, and Democrats love it, and that's because they're appealing to different voters," said Scherer. "Both parties are working towards compromise, it's just rhetorically Democrats have been beating the Republicans over the head with the word compromise, because Republicans don't like to use the word."

The relevant transcript follows:

MSNBC
"NewsNation"
July 29, 2011

2:33 p.m. EDT

THOMAS ROBERTS, substitute host: Joining me now is Michael Scherer, White House correspondent for Time magazine and he writes today about the top four red herrings of the debt debate which says poorly reflect political realities. All right, so it's good to have you on with me Michael, I love talking about this stuff because I think there are a lot of red herrings going on in Washington DC right now when we get to this. So let's go over the number one you talk about is that President Obama doesn't have a plan. Explain.

MICHAEL SCHERER: Well, this harks back to the Paul Ryan budget. Paul Ryan put through a budget earlier this spring that would have reduced drastically the cost of Medicare and turned it into a voucher program. Republicans complained that the President didn't respond with his own counter-proposal and that was true at the time, and they've sort of continued that criticism now  into the debt ceiling debate. Although this situation is different, the President has been negotiating behind the scenes has put forward a number of proposals and he's gone public with the outlines of a proposal he is willing to accept. He's also endorsed the Reid plan, he's said good things about the Gang of Six plan, but Republicans because they are the legislative body here in the House complain that the President doesn't have a plan, there is no plan, he's put nothing on the table and it's just misleading at this point.

ROBERTS: All right, so number two: Republicans reject the idea of compromise.

SCHERER: That's another one. It is true that Republicans don't like that word compromise, and Democrats love it, and that's because they're appealing to different voters. Republican voters don't like to hear it, Democratic voters do like to hear the word compromise, but both parties have compromised. The Boehner plan, even though it's a non-starter in the Senate, will be passed later today, is dramatically different from the plan they passed last week. It's moved to the center, the spending cuts are the result of compromise agreements in the first batch with the President. Both parties are working towards compromise, it's just rhetorically Democrats have been beating the Republicans over the head with the word compromise, because Republicans don't like to use the word.