President Obama’s speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, yesterday promoted smart policies, not politics, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
"I would say that this speech wasn't an election speech," Carney said. "It was a speech that framed the debates we've been having and the debates we will likely have next year that go right to some of the policies the president is pushing Congress to act on right now, including the extension and expansion of a payroll-tax cut for middle-class Americans.”
Carney called the speech, delivered where Theodore Roosevelt introduced his famous "New Nationalism" speech more than 100 years ago, “profoundly American," and said the ideas promoted by Obama's Republican opponents are just more of the same.
“They're the same as the ideas and the policies that got us into this mess,” Carney said. Obama, he said, is "offering policies that are lifting us out of the problem and putting us on a path forward.”
However, Carney said, the president’s proposals are often blocked from implementation.
“Fighting with Congress is tough. But as we've seen just in recent days, Republicans in Congress are beginning to change their tune about whether or not we need to take action to give the middle class a tax cut,” Carney said, speaking optimistically about the Republicans’ willingness to agree to extend the payroll-tax cut.