WASHINGTON--What will Nancy Reagan think?
-President Obama will unveil his latest jobs plan on Sept. 7-- the same night the 2012 GOP hopefuls debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The GOP debate marks the first time Texas Gov. Rick Perry is on a stage with the other major Republican contenders.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said the timing was no coincidence.
"President Obama's decision to address Congress at the same time as a long-scheduled Republican Presidential debate cements his reputation as Campaigner-in-Chief. While the White House claims it's simply a 'coincidence,' the American people can see right through that excuse. The President has had months to get to work on the economy, but instead he chose to take a taxpayer-funded campaign trip and a cushy Martha's Vineyard vacation. If the President were serious about putting 'country before politics,' as he said in his request to speak to Congress, he wouldn't be caught in such a thinly-veiled political ploy. This is yet another reminder that the President is out of touch and out of ideas. The only job he seems to care about is his own."
Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked at the Wednesday briefing if the White House took into consideration the GOP debate when they picked a date for the speech.
"No, of course not. There were a lot of considerations that -- once you decide you want to do a speech to
Congress and you have to deal with congressional schedules and other -- there are other -- there are many other factors here. And obviously, one debate of many that's on one channel of many was not
enough reason not to have the speech at the time that we decided to
have it. "
My take: The Obama team knew--or should have known about the Sept. 7 GOP debate. The team figures that Obama will be cast as taking steps to create more jobs while the big GOP field squabble among themselves--or just, as Mrs. Reagan once said in another context, "Just Say No" to anything Obama proposes.