Oh yes he did:
President Obama has requested a joint session of Congress next week to deliver his jobs speech directly to lawmakers.
In a letter to congressional leaders requesting the Sept. 7 slot, the president said he will urge Congress to put aside politics and focus on creating jobs during the 8 p.m. speech.
“As I have traveled across our country this summer and spoken with our fellow Americans, I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs,” Obama wrote. “We must answer this call.”
The speech will fall on the same night Texas Gov. Rick Perry makes his debut on the GOP 2012 debate stage. The Republican presidential field is set to take part in a debate, also scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Asked whether the speech was purposefully scheduled the same night as the Republican debate, White House press secretary Jay Carney said “of course not.”
What a dick!
I assume that protocol is that a President gets to give a speech to a Joint Session of Congress whenever he wants, but this is abusive and purely political.
I hope they both go on at the same time and the debate gets higher ratings.
Besides, this actually plays well for Republicans. Usually, the opposition party gets a few minutes for a rebuttal speech, shot in an anteroom with none of the drama and flair of a joint session speech. Instead, the GOP will have eight or nine responses to Obama on live television in a dramatic setting. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Republicans at the debate decide individually to focus their criticisms on Obama all night long and his plan, especially if — as I suspect — the plan will amount to a junior-grade Porkulus.
At the same time, it’s going to be obvious to everyone that the White House manipulated this for his re-election efforts, which will further reduce Obama’s credibility and the credibility of his proposal. And the first rule of political campaigning is not to get in the way of your opponent when he’s busy shooting himself in the foot.