Obama’s Joint Session Request
Boehner would have to be out of his mind to give Obama this kind of platform, and on this of all nights (considering it is a GOP debate night, and will be the first one to showcase Rick Perry).
The Speaker’s response should be simple: a counter-proposal that invites Obama to address the entire Congress during the day, in either public or private, one day next week.
He should not let Obama have a national platform from which to lecture.
I envisison a response from the Speaker’s Office might look something like this:
“Mr. President, the Republicans in the House and the Senate are in total agreement that America’s lackluster economic growth and job creation are critical issues that deserve the full attention of all policy makers. And we’re convinced that, for all of the differences between our parties, there must be some areas where we can work together and find common ground.
Your request, however, is to come and address a joint session of Congress on the evening of September 7th. There are two issues with this request, as we see it: First, the suggestions for a way forward would only be flowing in one direction, and as a co-equal branch of government the Congress hopes to engage in a two-way discussion on this critical topic. Second, the specific time you’ve chosen conflicts with one of the Republican Presidential debates, something we seriously doubt you were unaware of when making your request.
Hence, since your request is transparently political, we invite you instead to a two-way discussion with a joint session of Republicans (both House and Senate) for any afternoon of your choosing next week. We are happy to hear your ideas on job creation Mr. President, and look forward to sharing ours directly with you. And while we strongly prefer to have this meeting be public, we’re willing to meet in private if you would feel more comfortable in that setting. The important thing is that we begin the discussion, because the problems are very real, and Americans are suffering.
And it’s critical, Mr. President, that the conversation going forward be two-way in nature for this very simple reason: Republicans in both the House and Senate, along with a growing number of Americans, view you and your Administration as a large reason why economic growth and job creation have been so lackluster. Indeed, some of the specific ideas we look forward to sharing with you are suggestions that your Adminstration stop certain unprecedented regulatory actions that are clearly harming the environment for economic growth in our country. ”
Blah blah blah…..you get the point here. Force it to be a conversation as opposed to a lecture….don’t let him stand apart from the crowd….don’t give him a free national audience….don’t let him drown out the GOP debate that night….and don’t let and the MSM decry that you turned down his invitation. Rather, the truth will be that you countered for a full two-way discussion for any day next week, in public or in private.