Obama's SOTU Proposals "Demand A Bipartisan Solution," Gibbs Says
"I think many -- almost all the issues the President laid out last night in many ways demand a bipartisan solution," Gibbs told reporters en route to Green Bay, Wisc. where the president spent the day and spoke at Orion Energy Systems. "Shared government demands bipartisan solutions."
Gibbs said the coming months will be devoted to hashing out ideas with both sides on education reform, Social Security, tax reform and spending.
"[A]s the President said last night, bills won’t land on his desk without the support of both parties," he said. "And if we’re going to make progress like we did in December during the end of the legislative session, we did that because we worked together. And I think that’s what we’re going to have to do moving forward."
Though TV viewership of Obama's State of the Union was down from 2010 by about 5 million people, the public appeared to respond well to the president's speech and Congress' symbolic gesture of bipartisanship--sitting together as opposed to divided by party.
A CBS News poll immediately following the speech showed that 62 percent of viewers expect more bipartisanship in the coming sessions of Congress.
Additionally, 91 percent of viewers said they approved of Obama's proposals while 9 percent disapproved.
"This year, 82 percent of those who watched the speech said they approve of the president's plans for the economy, up from 53 percent who approved before the speech," CBS News reports. "Eighty percent said they approved of Mr. Obama's plans for the deficit -- in contrast to 45 percent before the speech. Eighty-three percent approved of Mr. Obama's proposals regarding Afghanistan, which received only a 57 percent approval rating beforehand."
Just hours before Obama gave his State of the Union address, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showed 43 percent of those surveyed feel "things are going well in the country, up 14 points since December. The survey indicates that a majority of Americans continue to think that things are going badly in the country today, but that figure has dropped from 71 percent at the end of last year to 56 percent now."
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said this newfound optimism may be due to a more upbeat attitude about the economy.
"It's also possible that the country's mood was lightened by the relatively civil tone in political debate in the past few weeks, the absence of a projected terrorist attack over the holidays, and the perception that the December session of Congress got something done," he said.
But behind the promises of bipartisanship, there is plenty of politicking.
Politico's Mike Allen wrote in his Politico Playbook Wednesday morning, "The speech was couched in rhetoric designed to sound civil, unifying, uplifting. But it was laced with meaty proposals that, according to presidential advisers, are designed to SMOKE OUT the GOP - to force Republicans to reveal plans of their own, and help the West Wing chart where the axis of cooperation may lie. Obama threw down the gauntlet on several monster issues that are likely to be furiously fought, and have lobbyists licking their chops."