Here we go again with Karl Rove's favorite dance partner, David Gregory, carrying water for Republicans and their obstruction in the Senate. On this Sunday's Meet the Press, while badgering Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about why President Obama and the Democrats haven't done more to work with Republicans, Gregory repeats one Republican talking point after another to try to deflect just how impossible the GOP has been to work with.
We've seen this act before from Gregory. Here he was with the same routine on Morning Joe last October -- David Gregory: McConnell's Claim That 'Obama Got Everything He Wanted and it Didn't Work' Resonated With Public.
I'm not going to rehash all of the points made in that post, but they're all applicable here. Gregory is still pretending that the Democrats, to a fault haven't tried to govern in a bipartisan manner and if they just were a little nicer to the Republicans or gave just an inch more, the GOP would start working with them, which he knows full well is never going to happen.
Full transcript below the fold.
MR. GREGORY: I want to--you mentioned Senator McConnell promising to make the president a one-term president and I hope you don't mind, but last week during the debate, I actually invoked your name to raise this question about how Washington works. This was the question that I posed to Newt Gingrich during the debate last week.
(Videotape, last Sunday)
MR. GREGORY: Speaker Gingrich, if you become President Gingrich and the leader of the Democrats, Harry Reid, says he's going to promise to make you a one-term president, how would you propose to work with someone like that in order to achieve results in Washington?
FMR. REP. GINGRICH: I think every president who works with the leader of every opposition knows they're working with somebody who wants to make them a one-term president.
MR. GREGORY: Don't you agree with that? I mean, you, you, you led the charge against President Bush. You were pleased when his approval ratings were knocked down. I mean, his--Gingrich is saying this is how it's done in Washington.
SEN. REID: Listen, you can be against having someone re-elected, but not have that as your number one goal. That's what's the problem. We have had obstructionism on, I repeat, steroids. We need to work together. That's the name of the game here. And it hasn't happened. The only way you get things done is by cooperation, building consensus. And if we're going to rebuild America, which I think is our number one program, we have to do that by creating jobs.
MR. GREGORY: Talk about who should have the most influence in this new year and Gallup has a poll that was very interesting. I'll put it up on the screen. Forty-six percent said President Obama, but 42 percent said Republicans in Congress and this is after you and President Obama had been out there campaigning saying it's all the Republicans' fault. They're standing in the way. They won't get anything done, yet it's pretty tight between who should have most influence, whether it should be the president or Republicans.
SEN. REID: We know that we have a unique form of government, a Constitution which I think has been the most defining document in the history of the world for having good government. We have three separate equal branches of government. And the only way you get things done is not having one dictate what happens, not, not the legislative branch, not the executive branch or the judiciary. It's all a balance and that's what I think that we have to look forward this coming year. We haven't had that balance because we've had one arm of our bicameral legislature that has said we're going to do nothing except go after Obama. That's not the way we get things done.
MR. GREGORY: But you know what they're saying. I mean, look, you run the Senate. Democrats haven't put together a budget in a year. The Republicans in the House are doing that. So you can say that they're, you know, holding the process hostage, but they're actually getting things done. That's the argument they've made. Are they wrong?
SEN. REID: David, David, you know, having been Washington a long time, how the Senate works. And the Senate works on consensus and we haven't been able to get that because Republicans, I repeat for the third time, I want to make sure everyone understands this, obstructionism on steroids.
MR. GREGORY: No, I wrote that down.
SEN. REID: OK. So that's been the problem. And I hope with what happened the last week of this last year in Congress that the Republicans have learned they can't be guided by tea party because the tea party is putting them right over the cliff. You want to talk about polling, the--a recent poll shows that the American people favor Democrats in Congress by 40 percent to 22 percent for the Republicans. So polling--there are all kinds of polls. The point is, they don't matter. We're in a new year of this Congress and what I want to do is to work to get things done to rebuild this economy.
MR. GREGORY: We talk about the president and his approach to Congress because ultimately, you can talk about building consensus, it requires leadership on the part of both parties to actually achieve results. This was interesting, it caught my eye from the USA Today talking about the president's approach. "In the wake of failed budget negotiations that nearly led to a government default last summer, Obama has largely given up on compromise. `He's not giving up on moderation,' said John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff under Clinton who ran Obama's transition team after the '08 election. `He's just giving up on the Republican leadership in the House and Senate.'" I'm listening to you this morning and you sound about the same. Have you given up on the prospect of real compromise this year?
SEN. REID: I think I've said clearly today that I think we need to work together. There are things we need to get done this year to continue the momentum the economy has. Does the economy have enough momentum? Of course not. But for 22 months we've built on private sector jobs, we have so much more that needs to be done. So I look at the glass as being half full, not half empty. I hope that the Republicans will understand, as I think they learned in the last week of last year, that they can't be led over the cliff by this extremism that's in the Republican Party.
MR. GREGORY: So the State of the Union address, what does the president say to the Congress and to the country that breaks this log jam? What can he say that gets Republicans, you know, off the sidelines as you, as you would put it, to actually start negotiating with Democrats?
SEN. REID: The president, to his credit, for two and a half years, bent over backwards to develop bipartisanship. He had people down at the White House, he--Republicans down at the White House, he came to Capitol Hill. No one can ever criticize the president for not reaching out to Republicans because he has done that. Since last September, we have been more directed in saying we have to--we're going to have to do things without the Republicans and that's what we've done. That's what we did with his jobs bill. We, we kept bringing votes forward to move the American economy forward. Look at one of the things that we did that was so important. We thought it was wrong that we kept laying off police officers and firefighters and teachers around the country. So we said, well, I think that we have to have the whole American populous work together. And so we said the millionaires, people who make more than a million dollars a year, shouldn't they contribute a little bit to keep the cops and the police on--cops and the firefighters and the teachers on the job? And so what we wanted to do and this is the legislation, we wanted to have millionaires, that is, people who make more than a million dollars a year, the second million, they would pay 1/2 of 1 percent surtax. Every Republican voted against that, every Republican.
MR. GREGORY: But Senator, you are talking about the fact that Democrats are dug in on the idea that the rich should pay more in taxes. We know Republicans feel the opposite is true, that taxes would hurt economic recovery. And I asked you, what can the president do to break this log jam? And your answer is, well, let's just hope that they'll do better and come to their senses and the president's been trying so hard. I mean, there's nothing here for people listening to this to say, oh, I can see something changing in Washington. The tone from you is not changing. You're blaming the tea party, Republicans are blaming this president for not, you know, reaching out in a real way, not really trying to compromise. Is there anything that can be done that can really change the dynamic?
SEN. REID: I don't think, David, anyone can question or they shouldn't question our having reached out to the Republicans. I say Obama, I say me. We've done everything we could to work with them. We're going to continue to do that. In spite of the obstructionism, we've been able to accomplish a lot of good things during the last Congress, even someone as conservative as--Hornstein said it was the most productive Congress in the last 75 years. So we can't talk about not having gotten anything done. In spite of the Republicans, we've gotten a lot of things done. We had the most productive Congress in the history of the country just last Congress. I think we can build upon that. This Congress isn't over. All I ask is for the Republicans to understand what legislation is all about.
MR. GREGORY: Well...
SEN. REID: It's the art of compromise and building a consensus.