Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) just finished up with a 'response' press conference essentially to answer the President's impromptu press conference, in which he lambasted Republicans and their world views in the context of the debt limit negotiations.
President Obama earlier in the evening claimed that Republicans are essentially not on the American peoples' side, that they're more than willing to throw the poor under the bus in order to preserve the Bush tax cuts.
Boehner countered by revealing his version of how the actual negotiations have gone up to this point, and that he'd be spending the night working on a new plan to take to 1600 Pennsylvania tomorrow at 11am Eastern.
At this point, I can surmise that they couldn't be further from a deal--Boehner and the Republicans thought they had a deal at $1.4 trillion in spending cuts to go along with a raise in the debt limit. The problem (according to Boehner), the president wanted $600 billion of that $1.4 trillion to come from raising taxes--thus the "moved the goal posts" reference.
Instead of playing leader, President Obama took to his press room podium to make a political speech--the type of which he completely campaigned against.
Nevertheless, Boehner responded in kind, but without the accusatory tone--other than to point out his version of what has happened up to this point.
Both these men are setting their place in American Political History as we speak. The President-Speaker of the House relationship has been in the spotlight several times over the evolution of our Republic.
Unfortunately, this tone has been more akin to an elementary school playground (from both sides), rather than the professional, leadership driven battles between Ronald Reagan and Speaker Tip O'Neill in the 80s.
It's true that Boehner is likely handicapped by the majority of the freshman Republicans, Tea Party affiliated or not, who have serious qualms with voting for any increase in the debt ceiling, spending cuts or not.
Meanwhile, it seems as though the President is handicapping himself. While he no doubt has the media and several polling results in his corner, he certainly is not acting like it.
Unfortunately, this mini bully pulpit battle this evening is becoming more common with the 24 hour news cycle being broadcast live on at least three separate channels.
Obama and Boehner would be doing their best to avoid little skirmishes like the one that happened tonight, which believe me, only serve to enrage the public further, and instead channel their inner Reagan and O'Neills.
P.s. Kudos to Speaker Boehner for using the 'Forest through the Trees' reference tonight in his press conference. This blog appreciates it!