David Dayen argues it’s a mistake to play the game on GOP terms, but didn’t otherwise have a major problem with the speech:
This could have been a ton worse. Other than the fact that this speech is being given at all, I didn’t have a major problem with it.
Huffington Post led with the plan’s bottom-line:
In an effort to recast the debate over the nation’s fiscal future, President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday a plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 12 years.
Andrew Sullivan saw the speech as classic Obama:
it was classic Obama – a center left approach to a center-right conviction: that the debt is unsustainable; that we all have to make sacrifices; that defense-cutting, reducing the cost of healthcare; and tax reform are integral to this possibility.And it looks as if he will indeed use the debt ceiling moment to push some version of this through. I didn’t get the sense from this speech that he was only planning to do this in his second term. And surely, after the cold shock of the Ryan plan, his less draconian vision for the vulnerable will be popular in the middle. The least persuasive part of the GOP proposal is its refusal to ask anything from the top one percent in this crisis. Obama saw this, and went for it.
At Balloon Juice, John Cole enjoyed watching Obama hammer the GOP over the Ryan plan to abolish Medicare:
Obama Takes Ryan and the GOP to the Woodshed [….] He can barely suppress a laugh as he repeatedly points out how unserious it actually is.
Meanwhile, LA Times reports:
House Republicans appear to be all aboard the Ryan Express—and there ain’t no stopping it now.Even as President Obama laid out his own deficit reduction plan Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner was forging ahead with plans for his caucus to vote on Rep. Paul Ryan’s sweeping blueprint to radically reshape Medicare and Medicaid—and he offered unswerving support for the proposal.
“I fully support Paul Ryan’s budget, including his efforts on Medicare,” Boehner told reporters after meeting with Obama at the White House.
Paul Krugman actually was pleasantly surprised but doesn’t want to see this as a starting point in negotiations:
Much better than many of us feared. Hardly any Bowles-Simpson—yay [….] I could live with this as an end result. If this becomes the left pole, and the center is halfway between this and Ryan, then no—better to pursue the zero option of just doing nothing and letting the Bush tax cuts as a whole expire.
Time Magazine sees taxes taking center stage:
President Obama didn’t offer a lot of specifics about how he intends to close the federal budget deficit in his speech at GW Wednesday, but he did make one thing clear: he intends to go head-to-head with Republicans over taxes.That makes political sense. If he’s going to go after $2 trillion in spending, as his aides say he will in coming negotiations, he’s going to have to give Democrats, for many of whom that spending is sacred, some red meat. That red meat is $1 trillion in tax hikes aimed at primarily at the rich.
The Republican taking point seems to be that Obama is campaigning:
An audience member behind Ryan tells me he while potus trashed his plan, Ryan shook his head and wrote in his notes “Campaigner-in-chief”
Daily Caller echoes the GOP line (imagine that):
The president’s budget deficit speech is a vague framework for saving $2,000 billion and taxing an extra $1,000 billion by 2023, but is also a brightly drawn blueprint for campaign-trail criticism of Republican candidates.
Jim DeMint is so bad at math that he thinks reducing excess spending and raising revenues will make us bankrupt:
The President made it absolutely clear today that Democrats will cling bitterly to deficit spending until our nation is bankrupt .
Fox thought Obama’s speech would split liberals:
The president is wading into a potential political thicket. Liberals fear he will propose cuts in prized Democratic programs like Medicare and Medicaid, the health care programs for older adults, the disabled and the poor, and in Social Security.
Steve Benen at Washington Monthly thought Obama did an effective job defending progressive values:
As heartening as it was to hear President Obama’s full-throated condemnation of the House Republican budget plan—he didn’t pull any punches—what made his remarks this afternoon especially satisfying was his defense of the progressive vision.