Obama, Hoffa Speeches Irk GOP

Is the Obama jobs speech politics or policy?

By + More

Republican House and Senate leaders have all but given up hope of working out a jobs deal with President Obama in light of his and Teamsters' President James Hoffa's Labor Day attack on the GOP.

[Check out how the AFL-CIO could threaten Obama's re-election.]

"It's the official beginning of campaign season. You can always count on it being kicked off by an intemperate screed from a union leader pledging their undying partisan support," said a top Republican official after Hoffa said of the conservatives: "President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."

GOP officials had hoped that Obama would present a comprehensive jobs plan that would include some of their ideas. There are reports that the president plans to do some of that. But his demand that the GOP offer up their own jobs plan, which they will do, suggests to some leadership aides that the president is looking to others to take the lead, as he did with healthcare and the debt ceiling fight, and then attack the GOP if he doesn't like what is offered. [Read Cary: Republicans Should Release Their Jobs Plan Now.]

"I think the president is stuck between a liberal base who wants another stimulus plan and the reality that the last one didn't work and we don't have the money," said a Senate leadership aide. "From reports on their thinking inside the White House it sounds as if they're trying to split the baby with some ham-handed tax proposals married up with another cash bonfire in this speech on Thursday. That said, if he puts out a specific plan it will be the first time in his presidency. He's deferred almost completely to Congress during his entire term."

  • See political cartoons about President Obama.
  • See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
  • Check out editorial cartoons about the economy.