Pence: Where was the pivot?

posted at 1:36 pm on January 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), who recently declined a shot at the Senate against Democratic incumbent Evan Bayh, appeared on MS-NBC’s Morning Joe today with a question that many asked after last night’s State of the Union speech: Where was the pivot?  Supposedly, Barack Obama was going to “fight,” but also pivot away from the big-government health-care overhaul and focus on stimulating real growth and employment.  Even where Pence agrees with Obama, it shows the disconnect between rhetoric and reality:

Here’s a partial transcript provided by the House Republican Conference press office:

MSNBC Host Scarborough: So you think that the Republicans may take over the House in 2010. And I think you may be right. And of course, it’s always possible that a Republican candidate can come forward and win the White House in 2012. If that happens, would you like the Republican agenda of tax cuts, and more freedom, and a stronger military, or whatever you think it is, would you like that to be stopped at every turn by 41 Democrats filibustering every single bill? Or does the Republican Party actually have a responsibility in Washington, D.C. to allow some of Barack Obama’s agenda items to at least be voted on up or down?

Congressman Pence: Well, look, I think it is kind of amazing that you’ve had the death of democracy in a Democratic Congress in the last three years, Joe. It’s a very different place than when you served here, whether it’s spending bills, appropriations or otherwise. Republicans have been shut out of the legislative process almost entirely on the floor, and substantively in negotiations. We’re going to welcome the president to our House Republican Conference retreat tomorrow in Baltimore. The president last night, you know, said if you all have ideas on how we can lower the cost of health insurance, better ideas, bring them to us. I guarantee you, tomorrow House Republicans are going to take advantage of the president’s attendance and we’re going to hear him out. We’re also going to make sure he knows our alternatives on health care, energy, budget, economic stimulus, which we offered last year, as you know, but they were summarily rejected by the administration and by Democrats.

The Congress is, in fact, intended to be a place of give-and-take. You allow the democratic process, the legislature to work its will. We absolutely need to get back to that. And when Republicans take the majority in 2010, we’re going to re-open that process and turn on the daylight and let the legislature work its will.

***
MSNBC Host Zuckerman: What kind of things would you like to see in that jobs bill that would involve Republican support for it?

Congressman Pence: Well, let me say, Mort, when you look at the Republican alternative to the economic stimulus last year, our proposal was about $350 billion in fast-acting tax relief that would have cost, by definition, half as much as the stimulus bill and using their economic models, it would have created twice as many jobs. The disappointing thing about last night to many of us on the Republican side of the aisle was, we were asking: “Where was the pivot?” We were told over and over the administration was going to “pivot” to jobs, “pivot” to fiscal discipline. And while there was a nod to that, all we heard in the president’s call for a new jobs bill, his defense of the failed economic stimulus bill of last year, was just more of the same old same old. We just need new ideas, across-the-board tax relief that takes effect now, fiscal discipline that takes effect now, that is what will get the economy moving.

***

MSBNC Host Barnicle: Can you give us this morning, two or three things mentioned last night, that you, the Republicans, could agree with the president on, right now, today?

Congressman Pence: Yeah. Absolutely. I think the president’s call for supporting our troops, both down range in harm’s way and when they come home, are things that Republicans have supported the president on, beyond politics, and we will continue to do that. I also think the president’s call for fundamental earmark reform and transparency was welcomed, Mike.  You know, we were battling among our own back when we were in the majority on that issue and that was welcomed indeed.  The call for a spending freeze.  I personally urged the president, in the cabinet room in December, to veto last year’s omnibus spending bill and send us a continuing resolution that would freeze spending at current levels, this year.  He didn’t do that.  We welcome the call for a spending freeze.

It’s frustrating to hear the president say, here is all this new spending we are going to do, we are going to do health care, we want our climate change bill, and starting in 2011 we are going to have a spending freeze.  That had to be frustrating to millions of Americans.  But we still welcome the president’s call for fiscal discipline and we will work in good faith.

Obama certainly pivoted to jobs as an issue.  He devoted about a quarter of his time talking about the economy and unemployment, although his emphasis on a second stimulus package that looks a lot like the one that flopped last year didn’t pivot on the issue itself.  Obama finally recognized that people not only questioned his leadership but also his common sense in drifting since last February on economic revival.

As for an overall pivot to the center, no one could have seriously believed that Obama would do that after just one lost Senate seat.  Even Bill Clinton didn’t wake up and smell the coffee until after a disastrous midterm, after which a Republican Congress forced him to pivot and “triangulate” by co-opting the most popular parts of the GOP agenda.  He has all year to cajole Democrats into committing political suicide by backing his expansive, statist agenda and see how much of it Obama can salvage.  The full pivot will wait until Obama gets a beating in the midterms — and that’s assuming he’s as astute a politician as Bill Clinton was in 1995.  So far, we haven’t seen much evidence of it.

At the beginning, Pence, explains why he declined to run for the Senate, which was consistent with his announcement of the decision.


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Suicide bombers don’t pivot.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

‘The ‘Remaking Destruction’ of America must go on!! ‘ Obama explained.

Full steam ahead!!

BigWyo on January 28, 2010 at 1:42 PM

When the man comes out and says Scott Brown’s win was a repudiation of Bush’s 8 years, you can’t expect him to pivot.

John the Libertarian on January 28, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Obama to watch GOP presentation on GOP policiy positions at the reatreat.

WashJeff on January 28, 2010 at 1:43 PM

He won’t pivot til he has to. One would think that would happen once the GOP takes over the House this fall.

But it’s possible he’ll be so stubborn and such an ideologue that he’ll never pivot. He’ll only pay lip service to it when he runs for reelection in 2012.

Doughboy on January 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM

MSNBC Host Zuckerman: What kind of things would you like to see in that jobs bill that would involve Republican support for it?

The only answer that Pence or anyone else should give: TAX CUTS!!! Don’t let Bush’s tax cuts expire. Enact new tax cuts for businesses so they can grow and hire workers.

AubieJon on January 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM

He did pivot. It was a 360.

LibTired on January 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM

He pivoted last night.

My sore tennis neck is proof.

Knucklehead on January 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Chavez hasn’t pivoted, Castro never did, Mussolini didn’t. Those who want to remake a society into their image don’t pivot.

rbj on January 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Pivot? From what, Marxist activism? To what, Constitutional governance?

HaHaHaHaHaHaaaaaaHaHaHa.

Akzed on January 28, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Obama Challenges Voters to Year-Long Rap Battle

Mervis Winter on January 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

He pivoted last night.

My sore tennis neck is proof.

Knucklehead on January 28, 2010 at 1:46 PM

You should have used a swivel chair like I did. Of course, it did make me a little dizzy and nauseous but my neck isn’t sore this morning.

:-)

Texas Gal on January 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

The Precedent pivoted from lying about the Honduran Supreme Court to lying about our Supreme Court. Was Zelaya invited to the SOTU? Just wondering …

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

The Marxist just said that the Banks should want regulation. The smartest man in the room?

kingsjester on January 28, 2010 at 1:49 PM

Barry will not get the message until the mid-terms are jammed up his ass! Even then, he’ll make sure “It’s not my fault”.

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Im not seeing the pivot. nope

becki51758 on January 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

When your pivot foot is stuck in concrete, and the ball is glued to your hands, well, it ain’t going to happen.

unclesmrgol on January 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Obama finally recognized that people not only questioned his leadership but also his common sense in drifting since last February on economic revival.

In a nutshell, Obama lacks follow through, or rather, he has demonstrated an absence of effective leadership skills.

ironman on January 28, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Pivot? I saw a dither. I saw a recycled speech. I saw disjointedness, delusion, arrogance and bland idiocy wrapped in narcissism. I saw a punk threaten the Supreme Court and a hundred Dems stand up in glee as a bully beat upon Article III of the US Constitution.

Utterly shameful. The Foundation of our republic rocked at that remark.

ted c on January 28, 2010 at 1:52 PM

If that happens, would you like the Republican agenda of tax cuts, and more freedom, and a stronger military, or whatever you think it is, would you like that to be stopped at every turn by 41 Democrats filibustering every single bill?

Does anyone else find Joes words here, kind of disturbing? Tax cuts, and more freedoms? Amazing. They just show us what they are, and what they’re about, and what they want, and it doesn’t seem to disenchant an overwhelming majority of Americans yet?

Also Joe….take a DUH pill. 41 Republicans haven’t fillibustered yet, since Brown hasn’t yet taken his seat. And why not add the facts Pence did, by letting your viewers know, that Republicans have been pushed out of any negotiations on health care?

My guess is, the truth is something that is foreign to you. I have no problem with healthy debate, but at least be honest about it. No wonder you’ve lost viewers over there.

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Suicide bombers don’t pivot.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Is that you Moby?

Count to 10 on January 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Here’s what worries me. Every poll I’ve seen says voters are queasy about one party rule, and rightfully so. If the stars align and we gain back BOTH the House and Senate, it seems to me this enhances the chances of Obama’s re-election because people are going to shy away from giving either party a totally free hand. I suspect after this last year, voters are going to be pretty jumpy about that.

a capella on January 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Pence for Speaker

Sultry Beauty on January 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

The only thing that was a pivot was the hand that flipped us the bird…

hawkman on January 28, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Another term sadly missing from Obama’s promises and speeches, including this one, is the phrase “I will work with”.
This pathetic boy has an aversion to any actual WORK.

Cybergeezer on January 28, 2010 at 1:59 PM

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

it will be bush’s fault if the (d)s lose the house…no doubt

cmsinaz on January 28, 2010 at 2:00 PM

capejasmine on January 28, 2010 at 1:53 PM

joe has gone over to the dark side i’m afraid…

cmsinaz on January 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Suicide bombers don’t pivot.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Harry, Barry and Nancy have distributed the martyr belts to their delegations, and the legislative jihad will continue…

Praise the great Marx… Hail Lenin…

phreshone on January 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Watch Obama with the sound turned off:
He looks like he’s instruction two people how to play ping pong.

Cybergeezer on January 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

What surprises me is that people were expecting a pivot at all. Maybe these are the same folk who were predicting Obama would “govern from the middle” a year ago.

Desert Gardens on January 28, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Count to 10 on January 28, 2010 at 1:57 PM

The Precedent is who he is. It’s not tough to see.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 2:02 PM

promises, promises

cmsinaz on January 28, 2010 at 2:03 PM

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM

“The anger that swept the Republicans back into power in the House and Senate last night is the same anger that elected me,” -Barack WhatMeWorry? Obooba, November 3, 2010.

Akzed on January 28, 2010 at 2:04 PM

His words are just that: words. The only people who continue to believe them are dopes. His agenda is job 1 and he doesn’t care what everyone else thinks about it. Wake up!

search4truth on January 28, 2010 at 2:08 PM

ZERO is going to give you Hugo Chavez’s commie paradise, rather you want it or not …

Of course with our dear reader playing Hugo.

tarpon on January 28, 2010 at 2:09 PM

So I was listening to Glenn Beck last week…

Anyone still reading or have I marginalized myself?

He was saying that if Obama fails to triangulate on the health care issue in light of 60% disapproval & the likely massive loss of seats in the midterms than it tells you something…

It tells you that he is not a politician. It tells you that he is a revolutionary.

It ultimately tells you that Rush has been right about Obama from the beginning.

Dorvillian on January 28, 2010 at 2:11 PM

MSNBC Host Zuckerman: What kind of things would you like to see in that jobs bill that would involve Republican support for it?

WTF is a “jobs bills” anyway? If you could legislate jobs to appear out of thin air, we’d have 0% unemployment every year because all congress would do is pass a jobs bill every month, and go home. You can’t just wave a magic wand and create jobs, Harry, Barry and Nancy seem to think its doable.

angryed on January 28, 2010 at 2:12 PM

If you put Grecian formula for skunks, on a skunk, and the white stripes fade to black, is it still a skunk?

Skandia Recluse on January 28, 2010 at 2:15 PM

The Precedent is who he is. It’s not tough to see.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 2:02 PM

“suicide bomber” seems designed to be as incendiary as possible. And also not particularly accurate. P.BO wants to bask in praise now, not post-humus. He really thinks these things will save him politically, and that he will be able to work everything out in the end. Yes, the guy has a totally loony leftist world view, but, within that paradigm, he is a corrupt pragmatist, not a wild eyed fanatic.

Count to 10 on January 28, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Obama must be using the Cloward-Pivot strategy.

percysunshine on January 28, 2010 at 2:23 PM

He did pivot. It was a 360.

LibTired on January 28, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Hmmmm…. if you Pivot enough, does that not, by defintion, become a SPIN?

Its like I tell my kids… I’m so far around the bend, I’m on my Third Lap….

Romeo13 on January 28, 2010 at 2:23 PM

“suicide bomber” seems designed to be as incendiary as possible.

Meh. I bet you wouldn’t have a problem with “kamikaze”. Funny, isn’t it.

And also not particularly accurate. P.BO wants to bask in praise now, not post-humus. He really thinks these things will save him politically, and that he will be able to work everything out in the end. Yes, the guy has a totally loony leftist world view, but, within that paradigm, he is a corrupt pragmatist, not a wild eyed fanatic.

Count to 10 on January 28, 2010 at 2:16 PM

No. You don’t understand what the motivates the guy. He is not a wild-eyed leftist out to turn America into some socialist paradise. He doesn’t have any interest in turning America into an anything paradise. He wants to exact revenge. Period.

The Precedent fancies himself the avenging angel of the third world, come to America to wreak havoc and make us pay for humiliating his people (the third world) with our creativity, productivity, and great advancements. He wants to lay waste to this land. THAT is the thread that runs through his every word and action.

If he cared one whit about left-wing policy he would not have off-loaded the legislation power entirely to Congress. He did that because he doesn’t care what any bills say. He just wants to push crappy stuff through as far as it will go and destroy the system in the process. This is what motviates his every decision. This is why I knew and wrote that he was dithering about Afghanistan on purpose and would stretch it out as long as possible, finally relenting with the minimum number of troops he could.

The Precedent is very easy to read and predict. He is headed for disaster, himself, and he wants to take this nation down in the process. That is why it was always obvious that he never cared about a second term. He is on his run.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Yesterday’s Koterba cartoon.

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 2:24 PM

I don’t disagree that the agenda was originally created with that purpose.
But you are mistaking the motives of the people who created the agenda for the motives of the man raised to follow it.
He doesn’t think it will hurt us in any significant way — he’s been lead to believe that it is good for us, that it will lead us to a shining future.
Look, P.BO isn’t malicious — that would show on his face, and everyone would see it. He is a chump, almost a patsy.

Count to 10 on January 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Did anyone else notice how Obama looks down his nose when he talks about himself?

How utterly apropos.

csdeven on January 28, 2010 at 2:39 PM

What very few are talking about in the SOTU, was the ARROGANCE that Obama showed…

Sarah said it well, he LECTURED the American People, Congress, the Repubs, and the Supremes.

It was all about HIS visiion… and his need to change America to what HE wants it to be…

That HE has the answers, and that what the American people want, does not matter.

Hubris… arrogance… and a false world view.

Romeo13 on January 28, 2010 at 2:42 PM

Look, P.BO isn’t malicious — that would show on his face, and everyone would see it. He is a chump, almost a patsy.

Count to 10 on January 28, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I have to disagree. Though the Precedent is a chump (and a general moron), he is as malevolent towards the US and the West as all get out. He’s not out to actually build anything. He only wants to tear stuff down and sow chaos.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Geez people, Obama isn’t going to change a bit from the destructive policies that he is currently pursuing. His speech last night was not significantly different from any of his campaign speeches where he promised one thing and then did the opposite. A leopard can’t change his spots and the snake oil salesman like Obama cannot change the spiel that he use to con the public into electing him.

docdave on January 28, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Why is Kirk still voting for Massachusetts?

http://michellemalkin.com/

UnderstandingisPower on January 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Why is Kirk still voting for Massachusetts?

http://michellemalkin.com/

UnderstandingisPower on January 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Thats a VERY good question…

Romeo13 on January 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Did I hear that right … the “freeze” doesn’t start until 2011 ?

J_Crater on January 28, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Can’t say it enough: There is no such thing as a “moderate Democrat” in the Senate.

Something we all need to remind ourselves on election day. Personally I have not and will not vote for ANY democrat.

docdave on January 28, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Oh, yes, ‘moderate’ Leiberman once again voted with the dems.

docdave on January 28, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Did I hear that right … the “freeze” doesn’t start until 2011 ?

J_Crater on January 28, 2010 at 2:58 PM

Yep, so Bambi has the 2010, and 2011, spending to buy votes with.

Romeo13 on January 28, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Did I hear that right … the “freeze” doesn’t start until 2011 ?

J_Crater on January 28, 2010 at 2:58 PM

That announcement was one of the funniest points of the speech. It was like a collective gasp. I cracked up.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 3:08 PM

The thing about being President that is different from being a community organizer is that you actually have to come up with solutions instead of b!tching about the problems.

uknowmorethanme on January 28, 2010 at 3:13 PM

That announcement was one of the funniest points of the speech. It was like a collective gasp. I cracked up.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 3:08 PM
________________

You could hear scattered laughter in the gallery. Then full on belly laughs when he said “That’s how budgeting works” 10 seconds later.

uknowmorethanme on January 28, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Watch that speech with the sound off and you’d think Barry and Joe were in a jug band. One head going side to side and one head going up and down.

Remember back in the day when your uncle had that little brown dog in the back window with the head that nodded up and down as he bumped down the road. Somebody needs to make that same toy with a Biden face on it.

DanMan on January 28, 2010 at 3:18 PM

You could hear scattered laughter in the gallery. Then full on belly laughs when he said “That’s how budgeting works” 10 seconds later.

uknowmorethanme on January 28, 2010 at 3:15 PM

Right. I remember thinking how that sounded just like his, “What do you think stimulus is? Spending IS stimulus!” Of course, The Precedent doesn’t have a very wide repetoire. He’s pretty much a three-trick pony. And the tricks all suck.

neurosculptor on January 28, 2010 at 3:23 PM

OT: Best fish, ever.

OmahaConservative on January 28, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Barry will not get the message until the mid-terms are jammed up his ass! Even then, he’ll make sure “It’s not my fault”.

GarandFan on January 28, 2010 at 1:50 PM
—–
If the Repubs re-take the House in 2010, expect the Majority Leader to be given the full-Palin treatment by the Mostly Socialist Media.

Mew

acat on January 28, 2010 at 5:27 PM

This fool is deluded and dangerous! Time to start an impeachment pivot before something unthinkable happens!!!

jgdp on January 28, 2010 at 6:59 PM