President Barack Obama has not met for six months with the CEOs and others on his Jobs Council in part because he’s simply been too busy, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.
“There’s no specific reason, except the president has obviously got a lot on his plate, but he continues to solicit and receive advice from numerous folks outside the administration about the economy about ideas that he can act on with Congress or administratively to help the economy grow and help create jobs,” Carney said in the White House’s first on-the-record response to a POLITICO story noting the hiatus.
While there’s been no official meeting of the 26-member council since January, Obama has been tapping members of the panel and others for job-creation ideas, Carney said during his daily briefing for reporters.
“The president solicits and receives input and advice from members of his Jobs Council and others about economic initiatives all the time. And I would point you to the numerous initiatives put forward by the Jobs Council that this administration, under the president’s direction, has taken action on, including a presidential memorandum in August of last year that selected 14 job-creating high-priority infrastructure projects for expedited review. Four of those are already under construction,” the press secretary said.
Carney insisted that the Jobs Council was useful, even though the president has been publicly campaigning against one of the panel’s significant proposals on taxes, which is also favored by likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Another GOP/Romney campaign ad practically writes itself. Bryan Preston adds:
That’s a pretty positive Politico spin on the fact that Obama’s own jobs council isn’t, in fact, doing its job. The “hornet’s nest of issues” comes down mostly to the fact that the council, which is composed of quite a few successful business leaders, and the president do not agree on what to do about the economy. After Friday, those business leaders also might have a new thing or two to say to the president.
The Romney camp wasted no time in highlighting the contrast between the inactivity of the Obama jobs council and the splendid job that Obama is doing flying around the country for campaign appearances. The score is Obama campaign appearances 106, to 0 jobs council meetings over the past six months.
The Obama campaign is simply falling apart at the seams. Unfortunately, so is this country. Remember that, friends, come November.
“Well, you know, the truth of the matter is that as President of the United States, I’ve got a lot of responsibilities. I was supportive of Tom and have been supportive of Tom. Obviously, you know, I would have loved to have seen a different result.” – President Obama on why he didn’t campaign for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the WI recall, 6/11/12