Stephanopoulos Doesn't Ask Obama Senior Adviser Anything About Jobs or Economy

April 7th, 2013 3:14 PM

There was a lousy jobs report from the Labor Department last Friday that has led some people to fear the already soft economic recovery might be slowing down.

Despite this, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, during a lengthy This Week interview with Barack Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer Sunday, didn't ask one single question about that report or the state of the economy.

In total, Stephanopoulos spent about eight minutes with Pfeiffer without one question about Friday's jobs report or the economy.

Instead, he talked about the state of budget negotiations, entitlement reform, gun control legislation, and North Korea.

Absolutely nothing about jobs and the economy.

Would this have occurred if Stephanopoulos was interviewing a Republican president's senior adviser two days after a horrible jobs report?

Or if the number on Friday had been better than expected suggesting the economy was starting to pick up steam, might Stephanopoulos have brought this up to allow Pfeiffer to brag about his boss's economic policies?

Alas, given the current White House resident's party, with the exception of a tease at the beginning of the program, Stephanopoulos didn't mention Friday's lousy jobs report until the second panel discussion 28 minutes into the show.

I guess Obama isn't the only Democrat who'd like to talk about anything BUT the economy.

For the record, here are the questions asked by Stephanopoulos courtesy

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's begin with the budget. It's going to come out on Wednesday, and will include for the first time, cuts in Social Security and Medicare. The president's put them on the table in negotiations, never put them in a budget before. But already House Speaker John Boehner has dismissed them. And a lot of Democrats are worried that the president is turning his bottom line in negotiations into an opening bid. How do you respond to that concern? And do you really think that this budget is going to change the dynamic, increase the chances of a big deal? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it hasn't seemed to change the dynamic at all, at least so far. Here's what part of what Speaker Boehner said. He said, "If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there's no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. That's no way to lead, and move the country forward." If they're good ideas, he says, why not just do them? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you getting any feedback from these Senate Republicans, and the president is going to have dinner again with them this week, that suggests that this will create the possibility of a deal? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: What are the odds there's a deal this year? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're also going to have a lot of resistance from the Democrats and independents, including Bernie Sanders. He was taking a lot of exceptions, says he's going to block any bill that includes these changes in Social Security that the president is calling for. Here's his Tweet, he says "Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for more than half their income", and it -- and we are seeing this problem with the long term unemployed.

Particularly those who are near retirement. They're going to be facing a real squeeze in the next several years, and this will be an additional significant cut, won't it? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: So there will be some carve outs there? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: This could also be a decisive week on gun legislation. It's already clear the ban on assault weapons isn't going to get through the Senate. Most likely the ban on large magazine clips is in trouble, as well. You've been struggling to come up with a compromise on background checks. It seems like the president's friend, Senator Tom Coburn, is no longer part of the compromise. Is that true? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you think you're going to get a deal? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: You have a lot of Democrats though against the assault weapons ban, and other provisions. When you talk about enforceable background checks, the issue is record keeping. Whether records should be kept. The president wants a bill that keeps record for sales in gun stores, that's law right now. Expands it to gun shows. Does he also believe that it must include paper records for private sales between individuals? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Would he sign a bill that didn't include that? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it has been difficult right now, and -- and a lot of gun -- gun control advocates are worried that you're waving the white flag when you say the president is simply going to sign the strongest bill he can. [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But wouldn't it be an incredibly disappointing failure if in the end, a bill came to the president that didn't include universal background checks, didn't include an assault weapons ban? Didn't include a ban on large ammunition magazines? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But the president might sign the bill anyway? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Before you go, let's talk about North Korea. How worried is the president now? We've seen this escalation of threats and counter threats. The president and -- and the Pentagon have moved assets into the region. How worried is the president that war is going to break out right now? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Not from Kim Jong-Un. [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: But does the president believe that Kim Jong-Un is calling the shots here? And is acting rationally? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Lots of talk about a possible missile test within days. If North Korea launches a missile, will the United States shoot it down? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: So it would not necessarily provoke a military response? [...]

STEPHANOPOULOS: Dan Pfeiffer, thanks very much.