Will Boehner’s ‘Blink’ Make A Difference on Tax Cuts? Not Before Lame-Duck

By Kate McCarthy

Sep 13, 2010 8:29am

Robert Gibbs looked like the cat that swallowed the canary on "GMA" this morning when I asked him to respond to Rep. John Boehner’s statement that he would vote for an extension of the middle class tax cuts –not the cuts for the wealthy — if it is his "only option."

“The president outlined that we shouldn’t hold middle class tax cuts hostage…and we certainly hope that what John Boehner said was a willingness to accept that as a big win for middle class families,” Gibbs told me.

But the White House has problems of its own in the Senate. Senators Bayh, Nelson, Lieberman, Conrad and Bennett have all signaled they could support a temporary extension of tax cuts for the wealthy.

So don’t expect quick action. A compromise may still be possible – perhaps raising the income trigger from $250,000 to $1,000,000 – but it almost certainly won’t happen before the mid-terms.  And in a lame-duck session, the GOP will almost certainly hold a stronger hand.

I also asked Gibbs to respond to Gingrich’s remarks in the National Review Online where he said “What if [President Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? …That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."

Gibbs said Gingrich was trying to appeal to people “who don’t believe the president was born in this country.”

“You would normally expect better of somebody who held the position of Speaker of the House but  look it is political season and most people will say anything and Newt Gingrich does that on a genuinely, on a regular basis,” Gibbs said.

Click here to watch my interview with Gibbs and see my analysis below. Then weigh in and tell me what you think.

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George Stephanopoulos

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