The Obama campaign sent out a memo from senior strategist David Axelrod on Tuesday arguing that the American people support the president's American Jobs Act. The note, addressed to ‘Interested Parties’, cites reams of polling data in order to prove Americans support the bill, and that Congress's high disapproval rating is linked to a perceived failure to do anything to create jobs in the short term.
“The more people know about the American Jobs Act; the more they hear the President talking about it; the more they want Congress to pass the plan,” Axelrod wrote, calling on Republican lawmakers to “put country ahead of party” and support the bill.
President Obama has been promoting his bill relentlessly since he announced it more than a month ago. Neither chamber has yet voted on the bill, due to stiff Republican opposition and less-than-unanimous Democratic support. The Senate will vote on Tuesday on whether to begin debate on the president’s plan, which has been tweaked in order to win more Democratic votes. Yet Tuesday’s vote still isn’t expected to win the 60 votes it needs for debate to proceed.
In his memo, Axelrod cited polls to show most Americans approve of the Act’s main provisions: increasing infrastructure spending, hiring more teachers and first responders, and cutting payroll taxes for workers and businesses. As for the mechanism that would pay for the bill, Axelrod wrote: “In this week’s ABC/Washington Post poll 75 percent of Americans supported raising taxes on Americans with incomes over one million dollars a year.”
Axelrod also argued that Republicans have failed to put forth a credible alternative. “Republican leaders -- from Congress to the presidential campaign trail” -- have proposed nothing that would result in immediate job creation, he wrote. Instead, Axelrod said, Republicans have remained focused on protecting Wall Street and keeping money in the pockets of the wealthiest Americans.
Axelrod ended the memo by linking Republican intransigence to Congress’s low approval ratings— even including a handy chart to highlight how independent voters are leaning towards the president on the issue.
“Trust in creating jobs has gone from a tie in early September to a 15 percent advantage for the President. And among independents, Republicans have gone from a 5 percent advantage to a 13 percent disadvantage,” Axelrod wrote. Members of Congress “need to understand that their failure to focus on what matters most to Americans is why disapproval for Congress is at a historic high – 80 percent,” according to a September 16th CBS/New York Times poll.
This article appears in the October 11, 2011, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.