THE MORNING LINE -- August 16, 2011 at 8:32 AM ET
President Obama to Unveil Economic Plan in September
President Obama speaks at a town hall meeting Monday at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
In front of a picturesque red barn in Iowa on Monday, bathed in the early evening summer light, President Obama decided to drop a bit of news into his remarks just as networks were going on the air with their newscasts.
"I'll be putting forward when they come back in September a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit," he said. "And my attitude is get it done."
"Very specific" would seem to indicate that the president and his team will no longer shy away from describing precisely how they would like to alter Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to secure those programs for the future.
For the longest time, the White House argued that putting specifics forward is the easiest way to ensure that a deal will never come to pass, because the various political interest groups on both sides of the aisle will pick away at it before it has a chance to be considered.
President Obama has spent the last several weeks delivering a message of strong frustration toward Congress, knowing he has partners in that frustration in the American people.
The president went on to say that if Congress doesn't take up the economic plan he puts forth in September, he will take its refusal to act to the country on the campaign trail.
His timing to run against Congress seems spot on, according to new Gallup numbers out Tuesday morning:
"Americans' evaluation of the job Congress is doing is the worst Gallup has ever measured, with 13 percent approving, tying the all-time low measured in December 2010. Disapproval of Congress is at 84 percent, a percentage point higher than last December's previous high rating."
President Obama's bus tour rolls on to its second day Tuesday with a focus on the rural economy.
Per White House guidance:
"In the morning, the President and members of the White House Rural Council will host the White House Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa. The Forum will bring together farmers, small business owners, private sector leaders, rural organizations, and government officials to discuss ideas and initiatives to promote economic growth, accelerate hiring, and spur innovation in rural communities and small towns across the nation."
The president will also sit for two local TV interviews with Missouri affiliates and a national TV interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, where he will, no doubt, be pressed on his new economic plan as well as the lines of attack coming his way from the 2012 Republican presidential field.
PERRY COMES IN SWINGING
Texas Gov. Rick Perry revved up his campaign in Iowa Monday by taking shots at President Obama and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, as well as Republican rival Mitt Romney, during a full day of stump speeches and campaigning in the state.
Keenly aware of the hefty media interest in his new campaign, Perry picked political targets and went after them, most notably Bernanke, who holds a nonpartisan position dealing with the nation's monetary policy.
"If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don't know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas," Perry said Monday evening, according to the Washington Post's Dan Balz, who also reports that Perry said that if Bernanke printed more money, it would be treasonous and intended to help President Obama win re-election.
The Fed has been printing money to buy Treasury bonds, known as quantitative easing, in an effort to spur economic growth.
Perry also suggested Monday that President Obama was not passionate about America, but that he himself does have that passion.
"'I think you want a president who is passionate about America -- that's in love with America,' Perry said during a visit to the Iowa State Fair on Monday.
"At a Republican Party event Monday night, a reporter asked Perry whether he was suggesting that President Obama does not love America.
'You need to ask him,' Perry responded. 'I'm saying, you're a good reporter, go ask him.'"
On top of that, Perry said he thinks members of the military want to serve under a president who's also a veteran. Obama is not a veteran, while Perry served in the Air Force flying C-130 cargo planes.
"'I think they would really like to see a person who wore a uniform in that office and I think that's just a true statement,' he said. 'I wouldn't back up off it an inch. Go ask your veterans if they would rather see somebody who has never served as Commander-in-Chief.'"
While Perry clearly is comfortable throwing punches at opponents, questions may begin to emerge if he's too careless with his language, accusing the Fed chairman of treason or suggesting that he doesn't know whether or not President Obama loves the country.
In addition to his tough rhetoric, he seems to have a campaign charm that his GOP rivals have yet to display.
Hamby continues with this great color from the trail:
"Perry is in the midst of his first trip to Iowa as a presidential hopeful, and on Monday he showed off the retails skills that made him such a formidable candidate back home in Texas.
Back-slapping and cheek-pinching his way through the fair, Perry displayed a common touch, posing for photos with toddlers and talking ranching with passers-by.
When offered to taste a sizeable pork tenderloin, he ate the whole thing.
'Pork, the other white meat,' he said, before tearing into the slab of meat. 'We won't have to worry about dinner tonight, and there will be a good little bit of exercise, too.'"
For a comprehensive list of resources and background information on Perry, check out this post from the Council on Foreign Relations' James Lindsay.
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is hitting the New Hampshire and Iowa airwaves with his second television ad of the cycle, seeking to build upon his extraordinarily close second-place showing just behind Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., in Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll.
POLITICO's James Hohmann was first to report on the Paul ad, and has the details.
The ad portrays "his three top Republican opponents -- Rick Perry, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann -- as "smooth-talking" career politicians. Paul's ad portrays him as the only true outsider in the race, citing his record of voting down tax hikes and debt ceiling increases. And it lumps Perry, Romney and Bachmann in the same category as President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, showing pictures of all six politicians, sometimes side by side, and contrasting them with Paul," writes Hohmann.
Similar to his first ad, this one is also 60 seconds long instead of the more traditional (and cheaper) 30 second spot and is in the style of a movie trailer.
The narrator concludes the ad thusly:
"Ron Paul, the one who will stop the spending, save the dollar, create jobs, bring peace, the one who will restore liberty. Ron Paul, the one who can beat Obama and restore America now."
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