Republican voters don’t want a responsible steward for their party’s Presidential leadership. That’s what the managing editor of Grio.com told National Public Radio Friday. If you’ve never heard of Grio.com, it was described by the network we fund as an NBC News site focused on the African-American community.
In the Week in Politics segment Friday on All Things Considered, the network our tax dollars supports invited two journalists to review developments in the Presidential race: David Brooks of The New York Times and Joy-Ann Reid, Grio.com’s managing editor.
Ever protective of the President, program host Melissa Block began by asking both guests about the White House’s poor polling results. Quickly, however, the subject moved to whom the Republicans might choose and why
BLOCK: Now, on the Republican side, we have seen a number of polls now showing Texas Governor Rick Perry vaulting ahead of the presumed GOP frontrunner, Mitt Romney. David Brooks, do you see Romney maybe tilting further to the right to more directly take on Rick Perry, and try to turn those numbers around.?
BROOKS: Yeah, they’re having a debate in Romney camp, what to do. Because the Perry numbers are broad and they’re real and they’re, I think, probably permanent. You know, there are two courses. One is just hope the guy implodes. He’s kind of a loudmouth…
BLOCK: Rick Perry, you’re talking about?
BROOKS: Rick Perry implodes. And I think they’re going to do that. And I guess I would do that. Through September, there are going to be three presidential debates, see how Perry does in those. But I think it’s more likely than not that Romney is going to have to go after Perry. And it would be a mistake to try to out-conservative him. Romney is, A, terrible that that; B, it would offend people who are Republican primary voters.
He has to find some other tact. And I think the two tacts to take is to point out that Perry uses campaign money as a governing and a political tool, and that reminds people of Tom DeLay. The second thing is, if this is a war on Washington and the opponents are Nancy Pelosi, then Perry is going to win.
But if Romney can shift it to a discussion about America’s place in the world, competition against China and India, then he seems like, I think, a more responsible steward. And that’s more his natural ground. But so, for a little while, they’re going to do nothing. Then I think Romney is going to have to prove his toughness and go on the attack.
BLOCK: And, Joy-Ann Reid, what do you think about what David is proposing there as a strategy for Mitt Romney, if he wants to take on Rick Perry?
REID: Well, I think it sound like a fine strategy. I don’t think it’s going to work. You know, the way I’m reading the Republican base right now, I don’t think they want a responsible steward. They want a firebrand, evangelical preacher that’s going to bring back what they see as the good old days of America before it was burdened down by horrible entitlements and the minimum wage, and all of these ghastly liberal policies that the Tea Party Republicans want gotten rid of.
Let’s get this right.
The NBC sponsored web site for black Americans sees a responsible steward as one who will bring back unbridled spending, record deficits and increasing loans from India and China.
To be more specific, Grio is worried about a moderation in the trend of taking things from those who pay taxes (the Tea Party) for benefits to those in the 50% or so who don’t. Awful. Awful.
What I find as awful is the choice of talking heads meant allegedly to represent America’s left and right. Only someone who could fire Juan Williams would consider David Brooks as anything resembling conservative America.
But, hey, they don’t ask me about such matters. They tell me to hand over my money.
What’s funny is that the Grio.com woman’s advice to Obama is actually pretty good:
REID: Well, you know, I think it’s interesting that, you know, one of the problems that the Obama campaign has had is that ever since he came into office, the American people wanted to talk about jobs, right? They wanted to talk about jobs, jobs, jobs and maybe mortgages. Those were the two hot topics.
But we spent the first two years going on about health care and sort of dragging through a big fight about that. And then we moved on to financial reform. And then we’ve spent the last year talking about deficits and spending. And deficits and spending fascinates the Beltway and fascinated the media, but the American people are not interested in that, so much as they are, again, about jobs.
And I think what we’re seeing for the Obama in numbers is this long, slow drip of people just being fed up at the jobs picture and the economy, for them personally, not feeling like it’s improving and not feeling like Washington is on message, right? So, on the one hand, I think his problem is that jobs number – that lingering, nagging ache over the economy.
But, on the other hand, if you look at the AP-GfK poll, it’s incredible how actually remarkably stable the president re-elect number is. It’s gone down exactly one point since the last time they took the poll.
And I think the other issue for Republicans, what they have to look at is that they’re not benefiting from people’s long, slow ache on the economy. Because when people look at Republicans, they like them even worse. And when they look at the Tea Party, they like them the least of all. So I think that for the Obama administration, the blessing for them in all of this is the existence of the Tea Party.
An unbiased host might have asked Reid whether Tea Partiers don’t have a point in highlighting the link between unbridled spending and uncooperative business owners’ re hiring. But still….
The full transcript is here http://www.npr.org/2011/08/26/139977270/week-in-politics-obamas-vacation-obamas-approval-rating-republican-presidential-