At the top of Monday’s NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer touted a new plan to address the housing crisis: “After a series of foreign policy victories, President Obama is hitting the road to sell his plan to help turn around the struggling economy and today the focus is on the housing market.” Lauer later wondered to chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd if the plan would, “help politically?”
Todd declared: “Well, it could….emphasize the fact that they can’t get anything done through Congress, right? That Republicans won’t do anything….Mitt Romney said of the housing crisis, ‘You know what? We’re not allowing foreclosures to happen fast enough.’ So this is a two-fer, as far as the White House is concerned. They feel like they can talk about housing but also make the Republicans look like they’re out of touch on that.”
However, Lauer began his discussion with Todd by pointing out criticism of the plan: “…it says that it will help make it easier for them to refinance those mortgages. Already critics say it won’t work.” Todd acknowledged a major flaw: “…it’s similar to the plan the President unveiled over two years ago….The problem is, with the plan initially and with this one, is Matt, you cannot force the banks to do this.”
Turning to the political impact, Lauer dismissed that fact: “Even though you can’t force the banks to do it, if you’re sitting at home and you’re underwater in your mortgage and you hear it coming out of the President’s mouth and you’re in a state like Nevada or Arizona or California or Florida, and those aren’t accidental states.”
Near the end of the segment, Lauer asked about GOP criticism of the Obama administration withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq at the end of the year: “Republicans are criticizing this, saying it’s more about politics than sound military strategy. How exposed is the President on this?” Continuing to push politics over substance, Todd argued: “I don’t think he’s very exposed at all because public opinion is with him….They would like to see these troops brought home.”
Read More at mrc.org By Kyle Drennen, MRC
Please share this post with your friends and comment below. If you haven’t already, take a moment to sign up for our free newsletter above and friend us on Twitter and Facebook to get real time updates.