President Barack Obama will be bringing his bully pulpit to a toymaker in Montgomery County Friday to urge congressional action on avoiding the “fiscal cliff.”
After a first term marked by deep conflict, however, a trip like this is fuel for the Republican critique that the president hasn’t been easy to work with, says Christopher Borick, a pollster and political science professor at Muhlenberg College.
“Anytime he leaves the capital during a period where a deal has to be cut, he’s running a bit of a risk that he’ll be seen as not being at the table and instead staying in campaign mode, which a trip like this to Pennsylvania resembles,” Borick said.
But Steven Peterson, a political science professor at Penn State-Harrisburg, says Democrats may applaud the president’s very visible strategy of ginning up public support for his plan. On the orther hand, he notes the GOP is urging the president to instead “get to work” with Congress in order to avert the fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax hikes.
“Certainly, if I’m a Republican, I’m thinking, wait a minute, we’re trying to work together here to solve a problem,” Peterson said. “I’m not sure that this helps a great deal that he’s out there on the hustings.”
Obama has insisted that any deal include higher taxes on the wealthy – the top 2 percent of wage earners in the country.
He’s expected to make the case again at the Hatfield manufacturer of Tinkertoys and K’NEX building sets, arguing the company’s more than 150 workers could be hit by higher taxes if no deal is struck before next year.