According to what we’re being told, Obama did not know that these comments were being taped on Thursday night, as he addressed a group of high-dollar campaign donors in Chicago. According to the LA Times, “the late-night remarks were accidentally piped back into the White House press room, where a couple of diligent reporters heard them.” I’m inclined to think that the administration knew full well that the mic was left on, but I suppose it’s possible. As a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer has pointed out, this wouldn’t be the first time something like that had happened. As I’m sure you’ll remember, it was at a “journalist-free fund-raiser three years ago” that Obama made the observation about how Americans “cling to guns or religion,” that almost derailed his campaign. Still, I think it’s likely that the administration orchestrated this whole thing. I think they essentially just decided to open up a covert communications channel with those of us who form the party’s base, letting us know that, yes, despite all of Obama’s talk about how working with the Republicans and respecting their contributions, he really does know what they’re up to and appreciate the seriousness of it. Here, for those of you who didn’t watch the video, is my favorite part.
“That’s what the budget debate was all about… (The Republicans were thinking,) Can we transport issues that have very little to do with the budget and have everything to do with a particular agenda? Can we use the budget as a way to chip away? So, they had a provision on repealing health care. They had a provision on basically repealing the EPA. They had a provision on making sure that we didn’t do anything on climate change… We’re going to see this again. We’re going to see this on the debt limit vote. This is going to be the strategy going forward – trying to do things that they can’t do legislatively under the guise of cutting spending. On health care, eliminating the health care bill would cost us a trillion dollars. It would add a trillion dollars to the deficit. So when Paul Ryan says that his priority is to make sure that we’re, you know… that he’s just trying to be “America’s accountant”… and be responsible… This is the same guy who voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that we unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill, but wasn’t paid for.”
And here’s the quote that’s getting all the press today.
“You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. But you’re not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we’re stupid?’”
Whether he intended this to be shared or not, I’m glad that it’s out there. I just wish that we heard more of this from our politicians in the Democratic party. It’s refreshing to hear the truth for a change.