Obama Tells NYT Reporter One Year Ago That ‘Shovel Ready Projects’ Do Not Exist
A NYT reporter holds important information back to help Obama push his stimulus package? Fine journalism there NYT!
JIM LEHRER: And finally tonight: the analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks.
MARK SHIELDS: He didn’t have to do this. What he is doing, a retrospective before the election.
I mean, we have gone from perhaps the least introspective president to the most introspective president. I mean, he sits there and talks about what it means to him and all this. For goodness’ sakes, he’s got a responsibility to his party.
How would you like to be a Democratic member of the House fighting for your life right now, getting hit over the head for having voted for the stimulus bill, and have the president say in The New York Times Sunday magazine, there’s no such thing as a shovel-ready project?
JIM LEHRER: Yes. That was — that’s the piece that’s been — that particular quote has really been drawing the flies — the fleas, has it not?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, I shouldn’t have confessed this. He said this to me off the record about a year ago. But it hasn’t…
JIM LEHRER: Off the record? So, then you can’t talk about it.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, because Peter Baker is a better than I am, because I couldn’t get him to go on the record with that thing.
JIM LEHRER: He said this to you a year ago?
DAVID BROOKS: It was obvious. I mean, you are trying to build a stimulus package. And when they were trying to build it, believe me, they would have loved to have filled it with infrastructure jobs. But the projects just didn’t exist. They couldn’t do it. They couldn’t find them.
And so that — I like that aspect of the piece, because it is Obama being honest. And it — but I agree it’s politically difficult. But the thing that you like about this administration is, they can have debates and they can be honest about what — the shortcomings they face.