msnbc | February 19, 2013
>>> are not fair. they will hurt our economy. they will add hundreds of thousands of americans to the unemployment rolls. this is not an abstraction. people will lose their jobs. the unemployment rate might tick up again.
>> that was president obama speaking moments ago, putting the pressure on congress to avert the sequester. budget cuts which are set to take effect in just a matter of days, coming up on march the 1st. the first round. senate minority leader mitch mcconnoll saying president obama still prefers campaign events to common sense bipartisan action. the president made those short remarks moments ago and once again using the bully pulpit to call for action surrounding himself by first responders and his remarks on the same day of a political report, "obama, the puppet master ." it's great to have all three of you here with me this morning. quoting from this politico article. the balance of power used used to be much more in the favor of the mainstream press. saying nowadays he said the white house gets away with stuff i would never have dreamed of doing. all this is on the heels of the fact that the press was iced out of getting pictures of the president golfing with tiger woods . is the punishment fitting the crime here so to speak, of the fact that this ire is drawn to the president being called a puppet master because we don't have shots of him playing with tiger?
>> it iss odd. i have been out covering the president. you don't get access of the president when he is golfing on vacation. here it was different because he was with tiger woods and a "golf" magazine there getting some insight. maybe tiger woods invited him there. who knows. i do think this is an article, the one that poe little ko wrote. i think an article written four years ago or could have been written about the romney campaign or about ronald reagan . it is different now. there are so many outlets the president can go to and he uses those outlets very effectively. they see the view as a bigger bully pulpit as giving an interview for a white house reporter and i think in that way they have been effective. sure reporters are frustrated and we should. i've certainly reported -- certainly frustrated with the access. was frustrated with the access when i covered obama in the beginning of this term and when he ran for election in 2008 so i think you'll continue to hear these complaints. ultimately, i think, i'm not really sure, if the president is necessarily going to respond to them. you saw him give that speech today. he didn't take any questions and we were wondering going into it if he would. he certainly didn't.
>> he showed up on time, though. that is kind of a good thing when you're playing by the rules of time keeping. doug, let me ask you quickly, though. is this just the white house press pool reacting to the fact that "golf" digest correspondent was the first person to tweet about it and the fact this is a reaction to the fact maybe there is a limited scope and that the media has been seduced by what we think is content but actually we are not getting it.
>> well, you know, the media and the administration, they have competing interests, right? the media wants as much access as possible and want to know the in's and out's on how decisions are made and pay a lot of money to travel with the president. i kind of get some of the gripes. as nea said these go back years and years and years and predate this president. every administration is trying to control access and control the image of the president. i think this presidency and this administration has done a very good job of taking advantage of new tools like youtube, twitter. i mean, on election day , thomas, four years ago, 1.8 million tweets. this year, over 33 million. so there's a lot of different ways now administrations can get their message out and i think this administration is taking advantage of that and they should, quite frankly.
>> one thing we have seen the picture of the president and the first lady, the caption four more years. that picture was the most tweeted ever and the hug right there. chip, let me ask you, as we look at the other big headline today, politico. gop senators waiting for president obama 's outreach would they be most likely to get a tweet from barack obama and would that be more helpful in negotiating problems with our sequester?
>> as long as it was signed b.o. and means it's done by him and done that way. you have to look out for that look. i think what is fascinated about this white house they use the different portals to get information from the people to a new and different way. dealing with congress is very much an old school way. it's personal contact between the president and the senators and the house members of which president obama has shown he doesn't really like to do that. he has had to build those personal relationships and when you go back to the last couple of presidents, you can name a few people on the other side that had great relationships. president bush had a great relationship with senator kennedy even though though disagreed on 85% and found the 20% they did and push things. we know about ronald reagan and tip o'neill. these personal relationships that matter.
>> take a listen to this, though, chip. this was this morning on " morning joe " talking about that. bridging and building personal relationships.
>> i think the president could do a lot of good by walking over to capitol hill and saying, okay, let's go.
>> but he doesn't do that. i can't figure out why he can't pick up the phone .
>> we have gravity and that will not change. the president will not suddenly become bill clinton .
>> chip, just at the top of the hour the president said in the sequester remarks my door is open. so if he is saying the door is open, why aren't other people on the right feeling that they are invited, open door policy to come in and build that relationship? why are they waiting for the president to do it?
>> he is the president of the united states and must lead. he needs to go see them and build those personal relationships.
>> do you agree with that? can the president, with the way this has been billed, at least now that maybe the fever of campaign is broken, to get in the whois for a second administration, can the president build the relationships everybody is craving for him to build?
>> i don't think it's his style. i think you can look at democrats who have similar frustration. they see a president that is not the back-slapping president like in terms of lbj but a different environment now i think the president a has used biden in the way and perhaps see that down the line.
>> at the movie white house when they were going to watch lincoln not one gopper showed up. if they can't get together for social reasons how can we expect them to get together for business reasons?
>> the white house has a lot of events where the republicans are invited. you read mcconnell no's reaction to the speech. his whole objective is defeat president obama and that was his priority. republicans politically for many of them being seen with the president doesn't help them and they know that. so, you know, i think the criticisms of leadership, you have to be -- you have to want to be led. and i don't think the republicans generally want to be led. they don't want to be led by john boehner . they don't want to be led by the president. and so it makes things difficult. he can do all of the different outreach they want, but at the end of the day , they need to be doing the right thing and if they are sensitive about not getting invited to a golf match or coffee or tea, they have to get over it.