President Barack Obama during a bizarre last-minute presser Monday said that a “fiscal cliff” deal was “within sight” but that it was “not done.”
“Today it appears that an agreement to prevent this New Year’s tax hike is within sight, but it is not done,” said President Obama. “There are still issues left to resolve, but we’re hopeful that Congress can get it done, but it’s not done.”
But perhaps more notable than this claim was the president’s easygoing style and biting remarks directed towards Republican leaders:
Takes another swipe at Congress.
— Joseph Weisenthal (@TheStalwart) December 31, 2012
Obama takes an early victory lap: “Obviously the agreement that is being discussed would raise those rates, & raise them permanently.”
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) December 31, 2012
Obama cracking jokes on Congress:”they will use that last second.”
— Jim Acosta (@jimacostacnn) December 31, 2012
See, if you’re on the cusp of a reaching an agreement with a difficult or disagreeable opponent, it’s probably best if you don’t haul off and mock, tease, and insult them on national television (language warning):
for someone who supposedly wants a deal, Obama sure is being a d**k for no apparent reason
— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) December 31, 2012
But it seem that’s exactly what the president did.
“Seriously, this is a strange message,” National Review’s Jonah Goldberg tweeted. “Does his base really need to hear him tweak and tease the GOP? Or is this just self-indulgence?”
Indeed, considering the way he addressed GOP leaders (i.e. the people he needs to get a deal done), we’re genuinely confused with the president’s remarks. And we’re not alone. Twitter pretty much condemned the entire ordeal:
…Complete with cheap applause line. Nothing to see here folks. Click.
— Noah Rothman (@noah_c_rothman) December 31, 2012
The self-contradictions and falsehoods in this Obama talk are plentiful.
— Timothy P Carney (@TPCarney) December 31, 2012
Raise your hand if you’re weary of the human wallpaper the prez apparently needs to perform.Cocky today. #poorbabystayinginDC
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) December 31, 2012
Obama isn’t making it easier for R’s to vote for this deal. But WH probably thinks that if R’s kill it, they get all the fiscal cliff blame.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) December 31, 2012
What is this? A roast?
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) December 31, 2012
@rickklein he really doesnt get how badly this comes across
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) December 31, 2012
As I’ve said all along, Obama isn’t about getting a deal done, he’s about vanquishing his opponents.
— Matt K. Lewis (@mattklewis) December 31, 2012
Is the president trying to kill any possible deal? What’s the point of attacking Rs at this point?
— Stephen Hayes (@stephenfhayes) December 31, 2012
WTH was that? Did R. Kelly write that screenplay?
— zerohedge (@zerohedge) December 31, 2012
No substance at all. And not even so much as a mention of the debt ceiling. I really could have done with a bit of leadership there.
— felix salmon (@felixsalmon) December 31, 2012
But maybe all that needs to be said about the presser comes from an aide to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.):
CANTOR AIDE: ‘If Obama’s goal was to harm the process…he’s succeeding’ read.bi/TsLO01
— Politix (@bi_politics) December 31, 2012
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This post has been updated.