January 26th, 2014
11:24 AM ET
7 months ago

WH adviser: Obama prepared to use bully pulpit

(CNN) - White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said President Barack Obama's plan to take more action in 2014-even without congressional approval-shouldn't be considered a threat to lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

"I don't think it's confrontational. It's 'Let's find areas to work together,'" he said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "There are some items right before Congress we can do together."

He mentioned immigration reform, extending unemployment benefits, patent reform and the farm bill as possible items that could be accomplished with bipartisan support.

But, Pfeiffer added, "the President is not going to tell the American people that he's going to wait for Congress."

"He's going to move forward in areas like job training, education, manufacturing, on his own to try to restore opportunity for American families," he told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley.

Previewing Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address on Tuesday, Pfeiffer sent an e-mail message to supporters Saturday that said Obama will lay out a “set of real, concrete, practical proposals.”

He reiterated Sunday that 2014 will be a "year of action" and the President "is going to look in every way he can, with his pen and his phone, to try to move the ball forward."

Pfeiffer agreed with the characterization that Obama will be using his bully pulpit more often this year.

"Absolutely, absolutely," he said. "We do that in big ways and some small ways. … We are putting an extra emphasis on it in 2014."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, said on "State of the Union" that the White House's approach "sounds vaguely like a threat."

"I think it also has a certain amount of arrogance in the sense that one of the fundamental principles of our country were the checks and balances, that it wasn't supposed to be easy to pass legislation," Paul said.

"It's hard to convince people to get legislation through," Paul said. "It takes consensus. But that's what he needs to be doing is building consensus, and not taking his pen and creating law."

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. rs

    I hope the President channels the last great GOP President (Theodore Roosevelt) to become a real agent of change in America as effective as TR was. The irony is the GOP of TR's time stood up for the working man and against the tyranny of big business. Today they are the toadies of the likes of the Koch brothers and go around bleating that "corporations are people too".

    January 26, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Harold Ness

    After 5-years of Hoax and Blame, Obama is more than willing to act like a banana republic dictator.
    Guess that's what happens when you elect an "amateur" community organizer

    Of course after blatantly lying to the American people by saying, "You can keep you policy. Period", over and over and over and over again, you expect people to believe him?

    January 26, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. Barack Hussein Obama Chavez

    rs
    I hope the President channels the last great GOP President (Theodore Roosevelt) to become a real agent of change in America as effective as TR was.
    --

    He already has already accomplished this. Unemployment is at record levels for record length of time, driving more and more people into poverty and food stamps. Five years after the recession ended we have a stagnant economy that isn't any where near the number of jobs it needs to produce. Our healthcare system is in the process of being destroyed in order to solve a problem which will still exist as it did before the destruction. Median income had dropped since he took office. The Middle East is on fire and Iran is close to getting nuclear weapons as they play Obama like a fiddle. Iraq is going up in flames because they didn't leave a stabilizing military presence and the same thing is about to happen in Afghanistan. All of the sacrifice this country and its military has made will have been wasted. The USA is now perceived as weak and unreliable by our allies. Our enemies laugh at us.

    Obama: Mission Accomplished.

    January 26, 2014 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Thomas

    This is not new .

    Lets see if it works.

    January 26, 2014 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Wow, No kidding,
    Are you sure AWOL is going to use the Bully Pulpit? So what has he been doing the last 4 years? Running around like a Chicken with it's head cut off? Hey man, the Rich ain't payin' their fair share! What? Job Creation? How you gonna accomplish that? Raise the Debt Ceiling? Now that is a great plan. Why didn't I think of that before? Fiscal Responsibility? Don't be using that dirty word. It won't fly here. Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead! Around and around, and around we go, where we stop, nobody knows.

    January 26, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is far worse than a bully........he is a dictator who wants total control of all of America.

    January 26, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  7. just asking

    Hector Slagg
    Damn the Torpedoes, full speed ahead! Around and around, and around we go, where we stop, nobody knows.
    --

    we all know where it stops. look at greece. we either fix it ourselves under our terms or it will fixed at the terms of our creditors and that will not be a pleasant experience as greece can attest to.

    January 26, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    Sounds like dueling conservatives. Obama is apparently a do-nothing absent leader AND a total control dictator. You guys know those are opposites right? Conservative rants sound like empty noise.

    January 26, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    @Rick McDaniel "Obama is far worse than a bully"
    ------------–
    Wait – did you just confuse bully with bully-pulpit.? The conservative mouth is the progressive best friend.

    January 26, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  10. HenryMiller

    "WH adviser: Obama prepared to use bully pulpit"

    No, Obama is thinking to become a bully. Won't work, of course, but it's going to hurt the country, not that Obama cares about that.

    January 26, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Don't blame me, I'm Obama!

    Never underestimate the ignorance of the American public. Example: elect Obama for a second term... sad, but true, it actually happened and we still have ignorance defending his failures. Ignorance is bliss!

    January 26, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    If Obama signs another 147 executive orders, he would catch up to W.

    January 26, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Jeff

    This president scares me more and more each day....the executive branch bypassing the other two branches of government? That sounds exactly like what our founding fathers wanted (a tiny hint of sarcasm there).

    January 26, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  14. dude dudeson

    Nice for the Obama News Network to put its spin on this. If the president were really serious about helping people he and the Dems would quit doing things that cause more busness uncertainty and more unemployment.

    The number of employed workers as a percent of the population is at a thirty year low. Anyone who runs a business can tell you why.

    January 26, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. dude dudeson

    How do Koch brothers get mentioned in every argument by an Obama Defender?

    It is getting really lame.

    January 26, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  16. Namelinda

    I agree with the President. Congress has tried to demeam, embarass, ridicule, and stop his agenda at every turn. Congress is the bully Rand Paul for what it's worth. President Obama has brought this country back from Republican financial ruin, created jobs, housing has made a comeback, banks and the stock market being regulated because deregulation is what got us in the mess in the first place, and healthcare for all. He did all this while being hampered by the Republican and Tea Party. It is what it is!

    January 26, 2014 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. YoonYoungJo

    Come on now. I think people are reading too much into Obama's comment. I think he's just saying "Let's get things done, instead of going over the same tired, reused, rehashed, pointless actions". What's the purpose of doing the same things over and over again, when it leads to nothing? What's the purpose of rehashing the same arguments when it means nothing? I think Bama is just hoping to do things that will keep the country progressing, getting stronger. Not just grabbing at empty air by arguing over things, or going through the same motions that mean nothing, especially things that have nothing to do with the core issues, like immigration reform, income inequality, etc.. over and over again.

    January 26, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |