Mitchell Reports | February 12, 2013
>> we'll be subjected to another littany of left wing professionals with plenty of red meat for the president's base. i sure hope not. the campaign is over. and the fact is if the president plans to accomplish anything good for the country in the coming months he will have to go through a republican-controlled house.
>> senator mitch mcconnell , of course, already giving a cold shoulder to the president even before he gets to capitol hill tonight to give his speech.
>> looks like a beautiful day there today.
>> in february, yes.
>> a rare day in february. it's a rare day when the president goes to the hill and gets a warm reception already mitch mcconnell is basically saying, you know, put up or shut up. what is the president's approach? what is his goal tonight with the speech?
>> improved the economy. and that's what you'll hear him talking about. i don't think that fighting for the middle class and taking steps to create jobs is what people think is a liberal idea or conservative idea. we do know it's an idea that americans are very focused on and support and, you know, the inaugural president talked about his belief that the middle class has entered economic growth in order to have sustained economic growth you have to have -- they'll have initiative that is are designed to do that. they'll be in the areas of things like manufacturing and infrastructure, some education reform proposals, and some energy that will also help create jobs. these are very commonsense initiatives. they're things that certainly have had a lot of bipartisan support in the past, and we're hopeful that we've started to make progress in working with congress and getting some things done and we're hopeful that they'll take this idea seriously.
>> will they be paid for? will he propose ways to pay for his proposals?
>> yes, yes. everything -- every initiative that is in the speech is paid for. it will not add a dime to the deficit.
>> and what about cutting the deficit? jean spurling told joe scarborough that the president knows that he has to propose something. he has to make some proposals on entitlements. is he going to be that specific tonight?
>> well, he has a specific -- we have a proposal that is on the table from the fiscal talks that we had with congress that has spending cuts that does do some entitlement reforms as well as raising revenue by closing loopholes to the -- that's still very much on the table. the well, we think creating jobs -- he definitely thinks he is committed to deficit reduction and thinks that this is a drag on the economy too. if we don't deal with it and he is very committed to wanting to do it. we need a partner as some people like to say in december, and so we need a congress that's willing to work with us, but we do think that while congress is working on the larger piece that they should turn off the sequester for a few months, whatever time is needed in order to work on this bigger project, and that, you know, you shubt -- the economy shouldn't be punished in order to do that. that's the steps that we have to take in the shorter term, but over the longer term that we get a real deal done, that reaches, you know -- achieved $2 trillion in deficit reduction. the president wants his proposal to get to the floor.
>> in terms of afghanistan, we are told that the president is iffing to say that 34,000 of the 66,000 troops would be coming back by this time next year. this is on track presumably to withdraw all combat forces by the end of 2014 . is that basically the timetable?
>> that's going to allow the president and i think i can -- as you know, we've confirmed that he will announce the 34 thousands number tonight, but beyond that, i'll leave it to him to address.
>> okay. jennifer, thanks for joining us on state of the union preview day. good to see you.