Reince  Priebus

President Obama wants to keep his job at any cost—even if the cost is a tax increase for the American middle class and tens of thousands of jobs that could have been created.

Yesterday Republicans in the House of Representatives passed legislation that accomplishes four significant goals: (1) extending the payroll tax cuts, (2) protecting Social Security, (3) reforming and extending unemployment insurance, and (4) creating jobs.

These are commonsense, bipartisan, much-needed initiatives. President Obama says he’ll veto them.

Why? Once again, the president is putting reelection ahead of the American people.

There’s a lot about this bill Democrats and Republicans agree on.

The president claims he wants to extend payroll tax cuts, and Republicans agree. This bill will prevent a tax increase for millions of Americans.

The president claims he wants to create jobs, and Republicans agree. This bill approves the Keystone XL pipeline—a pipeline from Canada to Texas that would provide both energy and economic gains and create much needed jobs.

Besides President Obama, the pipeline has bipartisan support.

But as we all know about this president, that doesn’t matter if it doesn’t help his reelection campaign. This time, Obama’s liberal activist base isn’t happy, so faced with the prospect of angering a small cadre of supporters that wield major money and manpower, he said no. He’s promised to veto the bill.

That means vetoing tax cuts, vetoing jobs, vetoing energy security. And it means vetoing bipartisanship.

Rhetorically, President Obama is a champion of bipartisanship. In practice, though, he is almost always its enemy. Sadly, it’s not very surprising. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives has passed 27 bills that would directly benefit our ailing economy. But if the Democrats showed any interest in House Republicans efforts, it would hinder their election strategy of blaming the GOP for four years of Democrats’ failures.

This past Sunday, on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” the president claimed that his job is to “put forward a vision of the country that benefits the vast majority of Americans.” Surely that vision includes a jobs bill that truly benefits the “vast majority of Americans.” After all, a middle class tax increase in a time of economic stagnation is not in most voters’ vision of America.

But the president’s vision has, time and again, been obscured by his own selfish political needs. So it’s no wonder, less than a year out from the 2012 election, 66 percent of Americans “do not have a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish in a second term,” according to a recent CBS News poll.

If “vision” is the president’s primary task, then he has failed at even that. And that’s just further proof that America does not need a second Obama term.

There is one thing that is clear, however—and that’s what an Obama America looks like in practice: high unemployment, high taxes, record spending, record deficits, rising healthcare costs, and growing despair. We need more than vision. We need a president who is willing to keep his promises to the American people—not just his promises to a small group of political activists.

In 2012, Republicans will offer the much needed alternative—not just a vision for a stronger America, but also the economic leadership and agenda that it requires. And from now until Election Day, we will hold the president accountable for his record.

In February 2009, less than a month after taking office, the president didn’t mince words when he said, “I’m not going to make any excuses. If stuff hasn’t worked and people don’t feel like I’ve led the country in the right direction, then you’ll have a new president.”

Now, as Americans prepare for the holidays and a New Year, President Obama and Senate Democrats have the chance to take the country in the “right direction” for once. House Republicans have done their part. Now it’s up to the Democrats.

Will it be tax cuts and jobs for Christmas? Or tax increases? President Obama must choose. No excuses.


Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus is chairman of the Republican National Committee.