Jansing and Co | March 11, 2013
>>> some mixed signals from republicans are highlighting the gop divide. now, some republicans have been giving president obama high marks for his new outreach to hammer out a, quote, grand bargain on the budget and the deficit. others now blame the president for the recent gridlock.
>> he won by in some ways dividing the country. i think he ran a campaign of them and us and it was quite effective, that somehow the republicans don't care about the large number of people.
>> i'm welcoming with open arms . i think the president is tremendously sincere. i don't think this is just a political change in tactic. i think he actually would like to solve the problems of the country and it would be to his benefit and certainly every american's benefit if he did that.
>> let's bring in democratic strategist and pollster margie o'maro and jonathan . jonathan , let me start with you. is there a republican divide here? who's right on this issue?
>> i think that they're both right defending on the perspective you're coming to this question from. from jeb bush 's perspective he's dead on in the global perspective. this has been a very partisan president who has very rarely thrown the ball to his republican counterparts. if you look at jeb bush 's brother, president george w. bush , like him or hate him, one of the first things he did as president was to throw the ball to senator ted kennedy on the education bill . we've seen none of that from the president so i think jeb bush is right globally. but in this case coburn is right and the republicans meeting with him are right because the president has done this outreach. this is the first week he's ever done this according to the " washington post ." that's one week out of the last 200. yes, they're both right. yes, it's happened, but it hasn't happened much.
>> margie , are they both right?
>> jeb bush normally is a thought leader among republicans . i'm not sure this comment was really smart because it allows us to relitigate which candidate ran a divisive campaign and which one ran a unified campaign campaign. voters have made their decision and you could see that in jeb bush 's own comments. when pressed further he said, well, he has this us versus them and, you know, it's the wealthy versus everyone else. so he's criticizing obama for being, in jeb bush 's words, of the 98% when you had by comparison mitt romney who was discounting about half of the electorate, both in private comments and his comments after the election. even a week or so ago when he did his fox news interview. and i think the other thing that i think is important to note is where the american people say -- what they say right now. right now according to the last nbc poll, half of americans say that obama is unifying the country. two-thirds of americans say that republicans are much more divisive and have a much more partisan viewpoint.
>> let's talk a little more about jeb bush because he certainly has been making the rounds, he was on all the sunday talks shows and he was asked about 2016 on "meet the press." here's what he said.
>> who's the hottest florida politician right now, you or marco rubio ? who are we more likely to see in the white house ?
>> man, you guys are crack addicts. you really are obsessed with all this politics.
>> i've been called a lot of things.
>> marco rubio is a great guy. okay, heroin addict, is that better?
>> having said that, jonathan , i mean jeb bush , his criticism of the president, is it a lot motivated by sort of maybe testing outlines or getting himself warmed up for 2016 ?
>> well, look, he was one of the more successful governors in the last decade in his work that he did in florida reempforming the education system . he has an incredible record. of course he's going to get those questions, but he's a major figure in the party and so is senator rubio. from florida we have two of the most charismatic and dynamic republicans so i think it's good to be out there and voicing his concerns about what's going wrong with the country and how to move forward. i think he's doing a good job with that.
>> there's another question, margie , about what went wrong with the last election and the republican national committee 's report on 2012 will be out next monday. i guess when you look at somebody like jeb bush , is he the more moderate voice that the democrats would worry about?
>> i think right now there's a leadership vacuum on the republican side and i think jeb bush at least for now can fill that vacuum. and certainly i think any democrat who's going to run for president should be worried about any of the leading presidential contenders. there will be a tough race just like we'll continue to have tough races for a long time. so i think jeb bush from time to time he sounds very moderate. sometimes, though, when he has to defend tmitt romney or isn't quite clear on his view on immigration, somehow it reveals the difficulty that the republican party has right now figuring out where it wants to go next.
>> margie , jonathan , thanks to both of you.