News / USA

Obama Tries to Pressure GOP on Jobs

President Obama during a Labor Day event in Detroit, Michigan, September 5, 2011 (file photo).
President Obama during a Labor Day event in Detroit, Michigan, September 5, 2011 (file photo).

U.S. President Barack Obama has a lot riding on the jobs proposal he unveiled to Congress this week. So much that political analysts say his own job could be at risk unless the public perceives some sort of improvement in the economy before next year’s election.

In one of the more impassioned speeches of his presidency, the president told Congress that it is time to put aside divisive politics and work together to get Americans back to work.

“The question is whether in the face of an ongoing national crisis we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy,” he said.

Democrats liked the tone and substance of the $450 billion plan to cut taxes for workers and businesses in hopes of spurring consumer spending and new hiring. Congressional Republicans were generally skeptical, but conservative presidential hopefuls were quick to retort.

“Mr. President, we cannot spend our way to prosperity," said Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry. "It does not work."

The stubbornly high 9.1 percent unemployment rate may be Obama's single largest 2012 obstacle. Even voters who helped to get him elected are skeptical of the president's latest effort to turn the economy around.

“He convinced me to vote for him the first time but we have given him four years and so far nothing has come of it,” said Grace Arroyo, a 2008 supporter.

An eye to 2012

Analyst Tom DeFrank says the president wants to build public pressure on Republicans to go along with at least some of his jobs plan or face the wrath of voters in the 2012 election.

“Obama is hoping that Republicans went home for five weeks this past summer and got an earful from their constituents who said we don’t like you any more than we like President Obama," said DeFrank. "Fix something or you are going to be out of office.  I think he will get some but not all of what he wants.”

Rice University political scientist Paul Brace says the president would prefer to run for re-election with a growing economy. But with that unlikely, Brace says Obama hopes to at least share some of the blame with congressional Republicans.

“His second strategy is to change the debate, shift the blame," he said. "This was a problem that he inherited and the Republicans haven’t worked with him to solve it.  And if he can succeed in that he might have a fighting chance.”

Approval ratings at nadir

In addition to economic headwinds, the president is also dealing with the lowest public approval ratings of his presidency so far, and John Fortier, an expert with the Bipartisan Policy Center, says low poll ratings complicate the task of selling the jobs plan to the public.

“The threat of him going out to the country and making his case is somewhat of an idle one," said Fortier. "The economy is not good and the idea that this would dramatically turn around the economy before the election is not so likely.”

The latest Gallup poll found Obama’s approval rating down to 44 percent, with 50 percent of those asked disapproving of his performance in office.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid