It didn't take long for Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson and White House press secretary Jay Carney to begin bickering over the proposals expected from President Obama's major address on the economy and jobs creation.
President Obama is slated to unveil a $300 billion jobs package at a joint session of Congress on Thursday. While some reports have also suggested that the price tag could top $400 billion, Carney would not confirm any numbers, saying the estimates were “more of a guess than a dead-on price tag.” When pressed further by Carlson, Carney retorted: “Everything will be paid for, and he will challenge Congress to get it done. All right? The American people are so not interested in the partisan bickering.”
Carlson challenged Carney to reveal some of the new ideas to be unveiled in the speech. “Why go before the joint session of Congress if you’re going to say stuff that the American public has already heard time and time again in 10 to 12 speeches before?” she said. “Why say, ‘I’m going to go on vacation for a month, and then I’m going to come back and give this grandiose speech—"
Carney: “Wait wait wait wait --"
Carlson: “-- if it’s going to be the same exact speech that we’ve heard --"
Carney: “I’m not sure whose talking points you’re reading, Gretchen…. The American public will hear a lot of new ideas. I want to correct you. The folks who went on a month-long vacation weren't the president, it was the Congress. Secondly, the American people will hear a lot of new and innovative ideas that they haven't heard before. They will also hear very common-sense, sensible ideas like a payroll tax cut for every working American.”
Carlson objected, saying the payroll tax cut wasn’t new.
“Is that a bad thing, that it creates jobs?” Carney replied. Retort: July's and August’s dismal jobs reports.
Carney: “I’m not sure if you’ve talked to any economists--"
Carney: "--But there is not an economist whose Ph.D. is worth the paper it’s printed on who does not agree that when you cut the payroll tax that has a direct impact on economic growth and job creation. If you’re asking me if there are other headwinds that affected this economy, like the tsunami in Japan, like the Arab uprising that affected oil prices… that’s absolutely the case.”
Carlson: “Mr. Carney, with all due respect, we’ve heard all of those excuses before."
Carney laughed. “I encourage you and your listeners to listen with an open mind to what the president says," he said. "And apparently, you've decided already that ideas that used to have broad bipartisan support shouldn't, simply because they're proposed by this president.”