Whenever President Barack Obama defends what his presidency to date, specifically on economic issues, he'll speak of inheriting a bad economy from the previous administration, and then assures listeners of his intention to make the economy his top priority.
So why hasn't he done it? Why have there been other distractions like cap-and-trade, ObamaCare, bailouts, etc. and not a push for a real so-called infrastructure stimulus, like the president proposed publicly earlier this week. On CNBC's Sept. 10 "Squawk Box," host Joe Kernen asked NBC "Meet the Press" moderator why the support from the president's own party isn't enthusiastic about Obama's new stimulus proposal.
"I am trying to figure out, where is the Democratic leadership?" Kernen said. "Were you not surprised that after the speech and after the proposals, I don't know of a single person in a leadership position that said, ‘Yes Mr. President, that's a great idea.' All I saw was [Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael] Bennet using the s-word, which he isn't supposed to use and isn't that surreal? I mean it's like - the president almost seems like he's lonely at this point with some of this stuff?"
Gregory wanted to know why, if these measures to strengthen the economy were so important, the president earlier.
"Look Joe, I think you have to ask why, if the president felt so strongly about additional stimulus money or business tax breaks, he didn't propose it at a time that it gotten it passed," Gregory replied. "Because - to your point, Democrats don't want to vote for more spending, they don't want to vote for - I mean they may want to vote for tax breaks if it could come together, but Republicans don't want to hand him that victory."
With this latest move by Obama, which comes almost two months before the midterm election, it appears to his critics to be nothing more than "cynical politics" on the president's part, according to Gregory.
"So you're right, it is a lonely position," he continued. "And again, if he felt strongly about these things, why didn't he do that earlier in the term? I think that is a criticism being leveled at him saying, ‘Look, this is cynical politics on the president's part.' He knows they're not going to get anything passed. This is all part of framing the political message."