Obama’s Vain Campaign

Chairman Rob Gleason

On Tuesday, President Obama arrives in Pittsburgh to talk jobs. It’s just the latest stop in a cross-country campaign for his American Jobs Act. For the last month, he’s been on the road attempting to blame others for his own failures. But the ironic truth is that he’s chiding the wrong party. He need not fly to Pennsylvania to target Republicans; he should stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue and have a talk with his fellow Democrats.

Here’s the truth the White House doesn’t want you to hear: They know the President’s Jobs Plan can’t pass Congress, and his own party is to blame. Like Senator Bob Casey, they just cannot support everything in the President’s bill. They know voters will not stand for tax increases or more unaccountable spending—even though they’ve supported those plans in the past.

Republicans believe Congress should break the bill up and pass initiatives where there is bipartisan agreement. Americans cannot afford to wait. But the President says it’s all or nothing. Yet even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has blocked an “all or nothing” vote in the U.S. Senate. So, why does President Obama ignore reality and continue chanting “pass this bill”? Because he cares more about saving his job than creating jobs for the over 500,000 Pennsylvanians who don’t have one.

It’s a campaign in vain. Endlessly repeating “pass this bill” makes a great political slogan. But it’s terrible leadership. The “American Jobs Act” might make for good politics, but Democrats and Republicans alike know it is terrible policy.

Of course, the President has never worried about terrible policy. He’s out peddling Stimulus 2.0, even as he knows full well that Stimulus 1 was an $825 billion failure. When asked recently about the bankrupt green energy company Solyndra on which his administration gambled half a billion dollars, the President said he had no regrets. $525 million of taxpayer money was wasted, and he has no regrets.

When the President comes to Pennsylvania on Tuesday, someone should ask him what else he doesn’t regret. Does he regret that unemployment in Pennsylvania has increased from 6.8 percent to 8.2 percent since he took office? Does he regret that his massive regulatory regime is handcuffing companies all across the state? Or that our small businesses don’t have the certainty they need to hire the unemployed?

It’s doubtful. Time and again, the President has proven that his top priority is his re-election. He would rather campaign than lead any day. That’s the only way to explain his dedication to talking about his Jobs Plan instead of actually working with Democrats and Republicans in Washington. And that’s the only reason he’s coming to our battleground state of Pennsylvania.

Unsurprisingly, even this perpetual campaign is not working so well. A recent Quinnipiac poll revealed that over half of Pennsylvanians believe that the President does not deserve re-election. After all, only true leaders deserve to be re-elected.

While the President takes his road show across the country, Republicans are working tirelessly to craft proposals and legislation that would accelerate job growth. In Washington, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has passed over a dozen bills that would enable businesses to hire workers more easily, but Senate Democrats and the President refuse to act.

In Harrisburg, Governor Corbett and Republicans in the General Assembly have made significant strides in getting Pennsylvania back on track. But they face a harsh reality: Washington Democrats are crushing Pennsylvania under the weight of mandates, regulations, and reckless spending. Overcoming that burden is an unfortunate and unnecessary challenge for our state’s leaders. It makes their work that much more difficult.

Before leaving Pittsburgh, the President will convene his so-called “Jobs Council” to discuss job creation. He’ll gather this high-profile group together for even more jobs talk. Really though, Pennsylvanians could give the President all the advice he needs: go back to Washington, get to work, and stop talking. We’ve heard enough.