Cokie Roberts Wonders: Do Republicans 'Really Want to See Jobs Increase?'

You don’t find many “gems” on a Saturday morning. It’s a lazy day, getting ready for football and a late breakfast---then Cokie Roberts, speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America, dropped the bomb.

Roberts has apparently bought into the far-left's conspiracy theory that Republicans simply do not want to see Americans get jobs. Yep. Republicans are more interested in defeating old media’s Dear Leader than they are in Americans' well-being. ABC's Dan Harris sounded off in agreement.

Harris set it up this way: “In the modern era no President has won re-election with the unemployment rate higher than 7.2%” (transcript below the fold - video to be added shortly):

COKIE ROBERTS: Well you just heard [President Obama] say that the trend is all good, and he says the same thing in his radio address today later. But, look. He knows the same numbers you just cited. And everything is about jobs now. I mean, this last election was about jobs. And the next election will be about jobs. And the president's got to get more people working if he expects to be re-elected. And he knows that. So, he's out touting what he's done so far, the big tax package in December, which has breaks for businesses, as well as individuals not having to pay payroll taxes right now. So, I think that, you know, he's going to keep talking up jobs, jobs, jobs. But there's got to be action.

DAN HARRIS: Right. A lot of work left to do. And he's retooling his economic team. He brought in a gentleman, Gene Sperling, as his top economic adviser. What do we know about Mr. Sperling? And does it signal any kind of genuine shift on the part of the Obama White House?

ROBERTS: Well, Gene Sperling is the Energizer Bunny. He was here in the clinton administration in the same job. You will hear from him a lot. He will be working all the time. And I think that the Congress knows him well. He has, of course, also ties with business. And so, I think that you're seeing a lot more of the White House looking to show that the president is friendly with the business community and not hostile to it. The irony there is that a lot of people in the Democratic base, think he's been too friendly to business. Whereas Republicans and people in the business community think he hasn't been friendly enough.

Republicans have a role to play here too, the real question Dan is what role will it be? Do they really want to see jobs increase or are they looking at those same figures you sited earlier and saying, well, if we keep the unemployment rate up then we won’t see the President get re-elected and that’s something, they’re eager to see him defeated.”

HARRIS: Right, in many ways, that may be the political story of the next two years.

I don’t expect Harris to grill one of his co-workers, but did he actually hear what she said? If I’m sitting on that set I come back with, “Cokie, are you serious---you actually believe Republicans will do things to keep Americans out of work so that they can defeat Obama in 2012? That’s mutiny, insurrection, treason, sabotage, pick your word---you really believe Republicans would do that?”

Of course, he didn’t and apparently she does. She said so. Just by bringing it up now allows them to revisit this issue in a few months and say; “See, told ya so—those Evil Republicans are keeping that unemployment rate at 9.7%.”

There you have it, the die has been cast, the template set for the next two years. Republicans want to keep the unemployment up so that they can defeat Barack Obama. Imagine had Republicans won the Senate as well. ABC might say Republicans are intentionally causing these winter storms to prove Al Gore wrong (again). Who knows how far this goes. ABC could take this anywhere.

Do you think the activist old media went after Harry Reid when he said, “This war is lost,” by adding to his quote that Senator Reid must hope the war is lost so that his prediction would come true and Republicans could be defeated? (BTW, we won the war in Iraq, thank you George W.) I guarantee you, they did not go there. But they have gone there with unemployment numbers and it is just as reprehensible.

They are who we thought they were, and they keep reminding us.