President Obama “Attention Hog-in-Chief”

“Look at me! Look at me! Hey! Hey! Are you paying attention to me?”

While not a direct quote, it accurately sums up yesterday’s press conference, which just so happened to take place on a day when most in the media and the political world were going to be continuously talking about the GOP presidential primary. This was President Obama’s first press conference of the year, and his first in nearly 5 months. As always, it was ripe for rebuttal:

“But there are still millions of Americans who can’t find a job. There are millions more who are having a tough time making the rent or the mortgage, paying for gas or groceries. So our job in Washington isn’t to sit back and do nothing. And it certainly isn’t to stand in the way of the recovery.”

President Obama must have forgotten that Washington intervention is what has caused these problems in the first place. It was Washington intervention that forced banks to give loans to people who couldn’t pay them back and then used taxpayers to backstop those loans. Government regulation and manipulation of the tax code is what has made it so onerous and unproductive, and it was government’s intervention in the market by way of the stimulus, the threat of higher taxes and more regulation that has lead to the historically slow recovery. In this capacity, the government is standing in the way of the recovery.

“Right now we’ve got to do everything we can to speed it up. Now, Congress did the right thing when they passed part of my jobs plan and prevented a tax hike on 160 million working Americans this year, and that was a good first step. But it’s not enough.”

If the President believes a nominal, temporary tax cut is a good first step to speeding up the recovery, then, logically, wouldn’t a large, permanent tax cut work even better and faster? How does he go from a small, temporary tax cut to massive, permanent tax hikes?

“There are a few things they can do right now that could make a real difference in people’s lives. This Congress should, once and for all, end tax breaks for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and use that money to reward companies that are creating jobs here in the United States.”

Hiking taxes on global companies would make a real difference in people’s lives – it’ll destroy jobs and increase the cost for the products and services. If President Obama really wanted to make American companies more competitive, he would lower our corporate tax rate so that we’re globally competitive. On April 1st, when Japan lowers their corporate tax rate, we will have the highest corporate tax rate on the planet.

The President also wants companies located in the U.S. but also operating overseas to pay a “minimum tax” on foreign earnings, which will result in a much higher tax rate, thus leading to massive job loss and less choice for American consumers.


“This Congress could hold a vote on the Buffett rule, so that we don’t have billionaires paying a lower tax rate than their secretaries. That’s just common sense. The vast majority of Americans believe it’s common sense, and if we’re serious about paying down our deficit, it’s as good a place to start as any.”

It is commonsense, but it’s not commonplace. We’ve helped debunk this myth numerous times, so we won’t bother doing it again here.

“And finally, this Congress should pass my proposal to give every responsible homeowner a chance to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage at historically low rates.”

Yet again, the President is proposing the same solution that has been tried and has failed to revive the market in the past.

“What we’ve been able to do over the last few is years is mobilize unprecedented crippling sanctions on Iran. Iran is feeling the bite of these sanctions in a substantial way. The world is unified, Iran is politically isolated.”

So, the fact that Iran hasn’t let up for a second from its pursuit of a nuclear bomb is in no way an indication that your supposed sanctions aren’t working? If Iran is “feeling the bite…in a substantial way” why are they still working towards that bomb without delay?

“Because if they get one that could trigger an arms race in the region, it would undermine our non proliferation goals, it could potentially fall into the arms of terrorists.”

The President’s non-proliferation goals would be proven, as the Heritage Foundation and others have said, to be completely irresponsible.

“As a consequence we’re going to continue to apply the pressure…”

So…more of the same.

“That’s my track record. Now what’s said on the campaign trail, those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities, they’re not commander in chief.”

See above…Iran’s continued intransigence is not a track record of success.

“It indicates to me that that’s more about politics than trying to solve a problem.”

And I’m sure that the President has never, ever, done anything like that. The thing about Iran, clearly what the President is doing (essentially “leading from behind”) is not working.

“Now one thing we have not done is we haven’t launched a war.”

True. The President can certainly take credit for things that he has not done.

“On the other hand for us to take military action unilaterally as someone suggested or to think that somehow there is some simple solution I think is a mistake. What happened in Libya is we mobilized the international community we had a UNSC mandate that had the full cooperation of the region of Arab states and we knew we could execute very effectively in a relatively short period of time. This is a very complicated situation.”

He left out the part where he did not have Congress’ approval to go into Libya.

“And the argument that we’ve made to Israelis is that we’ve made an unprecedented commitment to their security. There is an unbreakable bond between our two countries. But one of the functions of friends is that we provide honest and unvarnished advice in terms of what is the best approach to achieve a common goal.”

The Washington Times took President Obama to task for his continued claims that he “has done more for the security of the state of Israel than any previous administration.” The Times summarized the President’s constant claims with a short quote from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “if you have to keep insisting you are a lady, you aren’t.” Indeed, the fact that the President has to tell us that he’s such a great friend of Israel is quite revealing.

As for the “honest and unvarnished advice,” apparently, that means that Israel must cave and negotiate with the Palestinians, who support a terrorist organization that want to eradicate Israel.

“And it’s indisputable that I’ve had Israel’s back over the last three years.”

That’s why many in the media are so feverishly trying to help the President make this claim, and why the American people don’t buy it.

Shifting gears…the President was asked if he wants gas prices to go higher, since he’s said so in the past, to which President Obama responded:

“Ed, just from a political perspective, do you think the President of the United States going into reelection wants gas prices to go up higher?  Is that — is there anybody here who thinks that makes a lot of sense?”

Makes sense to us, because in the last election then-Senator Obama said as much. Maybe he forgot what he and his administration have advocated, but we haven’t:

President Obama’s Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, also said in 2008: “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Guess what? Gas prices are going in that direction!

Just last month, Secretary Chu told a Congressional panel that: “No, the overall goal is to decrease our dependency on oil, to build and strengthen our economy.”

When you add up this evidence with the fact that what these two men said they wanted to have happen is actually happening, how can anyone not think that the President wants to see gas prices go even higher?

It gets worse, though. In 2008, then-Senator Obama said: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Now, cap-and-trade didn’t pass, but the President’s EPA is actively involved in making sure it still takes effect, through destructive regulations on coal plants.

Speaking of coal plants, in 2008, then-Senator Obama said: “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s emitted.” Well, coal plants are shutting down across the country, 106 are slated to shut down, which will make electricity rates skyrocket, just as the President said.

When asked about the Latino vote, the President said:

“You’ve got incredibly talented people who want to start businesses in this country or to work in this country. And we should want those folks here in the United States, but right now the legal immigration system is so tangled up that it becomes very difficult for them to put down roots here.”

Why does he keep bringing up the DREAM Act? He couldn’t get it passed in Congress when he his party had total control!

“I give a lot of credit to my predecessor, George Bush, and his political advisers…”

Huh? Wha-? Stop the presses! President Obama just took time out of his busy blame game to…praise his predecessor? Stick to the script man, stick to the script! When that same reporter asked what the President would do now to pass immigration reform, the President responded:

“Well, what I will do — look, we’re going to be putting forward, as we have done before, a framework, a proposal, legislation that can move it — move the ball forward and actually get this thing done.”

He’s had three years to propose immigration reform, he gave a speech on it last year as well, so why hasn’t he done it? The same reason that Senate Democrats won’t release a budget – they know the American people will handily reject their agenda.

All in all, it was a pretty revealing press conference, if you even peripherally read between the lines.

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