Priebus on Obama Jobs Plan: ‘I Don’t Think We’re Dismissing It out of Hand’

Sep 13, 2011 1:41pm

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said today that his party was not dismissing “out of hand” President Obama’s new jobs plan, but added that the administration’s all-or-nothing approach to pushing it through Congress would not fly.

“I don’t think we’re dismissing it out of hand. There are parts of it we need to take a look at,” Priebus said on a conference call with reporters.

“On the whole though, there is nothing new about his speech. There was no great panacea here that we had to be teased for for three weeks while the president vacationed and hung out with the rich and famous on Martha’s Vineyard,” he said. “It was more of the same — a little less than the first stimulus bill, repackaged and sold.”

Priebus and other Republican lawmakers have signaled that they could support some of the tax cuts and tax credits included in Obama’s job-growth proposal. But many GOPers oppose proposed tax increases – particularly those on Americans making more than $200,000 a year, or $250,000 a year per household — to pay for it.

“Bipartisanship is a two-way street,” Priebus said, seeking to cast Obama and Democrats as uncompromising .

“When you look at what [Obama campaign strategist] David Axelrod said this morning on television, he told the entire country, ‘Look, there isn’t going to be any compromise. It’s all or nothing.’  So, if there are things we agree on, according to David Axelrod, we have to agree on everything otherwise there isn’t going to be a deal, according to his comments this morning,” Priebus said.

On “Good Morning America,” Axelrod said, “We are not in negotiation to break up the package. And it’s not an a la carte menu.”

Later, however, White House economic adviser Gene Sperling told reporters in Washington that the president was open to piecemeal passage of some elements of his plan, even though he prefers the entire package as a whole.

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