President Obama was interviewed on the CBS News show "60 Minutes" Sunday night and he was in full defensive mode. He was petulant with interviewer Steve Kroft and interrupted him frequently when he didn't agree with Kroft's questioning positions. He also employed the use of a phony looking smile when he was trying to look non-plussed at criticism.
Given two segments of the show, a rare gift, the President even said that there are lots of Republicans around the country who approve of his performance. See, it's just the Republicans in Congress who are against him. Funny, I've yet to talk to a Republican who thinks President Obama is doing a good job or even supports his re-election.
An interesting tidbit was tossed when Steve Kroft mentioned that President Obama "mostly" wrote the speech he recently delivered in Kansas. You know the one - it's touted as his kick-off speech for his re-election. It was also widely seen as bitterly partisan and rife with class warfare and for good measure, declared that capitalism has failed in America. So, the silliness of Obama pretending that he is all about bi-partisan cooperation and all that is just exposed as not what is in his heart at all.
Not that we thought that is was, anyway.
Obama says that "we're being honest" not divisive about income inequality when Democrats push their soak the rich (and, rich means any income above $200,000) tax mantra. He blamed the economic policies of the past for the present troubles and conveniently didn't mention he himself had been a member of the Senate, however briefly, and a part of that process. He described past policies of Congress "irresponsible behavior".
In typical Obama supporter mode, Steve Kroft complimented Obama for trying to work with Republicans after the bombshell 2010 election cycle. This gave Obama the opportunity to say that the GOP have decided to "stand on the sidelines" instead of working with him - for political reasons. Rich, really, coming from the most partisan President I can remember. He said that the GOP has made a "political, strategic decision of anything Obama's for, we're against".
Poor, Barack. It's not easy being President.
When Kroft stated that there is a general perception that the original stimulus package didn't work, Obama jumped in and objected. He said there is no such perception. He went on to say, "we should have done an even larger recovery act." For even larger failure, I suppose.
He thinks that unemployment could be at 8% by election time. There was no questioning about those who have simply given up on looking for work and how that brings down the unemployment rate, as it is credited with doing now.
One theme the voters will hear over and over from Team Obama is that Republicans want to "gut all regulations" on businesses.
When asked by Kroft what he would claim as his accomplishments, Obama listed that he "saved the country from another Great Depression" and "saved the auto industry" as well as ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell and "decimating" al-Qaeda.
When asked about prosecutions of those on Wall Street who are blamed with the economic downturn, Obama said he cannot comment on on-going investigations but touted the Dodd-Frank legislation as strong financial reform - the "greatest financial reform since FDR". Wonder why Republicans don't like it now? I didn't think so.
"I want everybody to be rich. That's good." Really. He said that.
He continues to lie about his involvement with the GOP negotiations and the deficit reduction debacle. He says it's all the GOP's fault that negotiations collapsed. "Democrats have moved significantly because of my leadership". "We were willing to make some tough cuts on programs I like but can no longer afford them right now." It's all about what "he" likes, apparently.
He snarls that the GOP is only about cutting taxes and how that does not solve economic problems. I have a suggestion - why doesn't President Obama simply voluntarily send a check to the IRS with added taxes to his own salary? He told Steve Kroft that they both could afford to pay more and Kroft didn't blink an eye about that assumption hoisted on him. Obama could set an example and lead all those liberal millionaires who are supporting higher tax rates on themselves.
Obama still hasn't learned that leadership comes from the top. Successful leaders lead by example.
Kroft openly chuckled and broadly grinned as Obama said, "my critics think I've been this radical Socialist". Funny stuff, that.
He said that Michelle isn't thrilled with the gig. When asked about why he was running for re-election Obama said, "not because our quality of life wouldn't be better" and "not because Michelle is enamoured with me being President". Wow. Those are some ungrateful people in the White House.
Obama acted as though he doesn't care which GOP primary candidate wins the nomination. He said the contrast is stark between the GOP and him. True that.
And, at the end as Kroft asked about the flowery, lofty ambitions presented in his announcement speech in Springfield, Illinois four years ago, Obama said he didn't "over promise" or "underestimate how difficult this would be". While he once said if he couldn't turn around the economy in three years, he didn't deserve a second term, he now asks otherwise.
In fact, he expects it.