President Obama will use his State of the Union Address on Tuesday to outline “concrete, real, practical proposals” — even if Congress isn’t on board with each of them.
Dan Pfeiffer said Mr. Obama’s go-it-alone message isn’t meant to be confrontational and that the president is willing to find common ground with Republicans, where possible.
In two days, Mr. Obama will address Congress with his popularity numbers in negative territory.
He is trying to rejuvenate his second term after a dismal 2013 in which Congress beat back his gun-control proposals, House Republicans allowed his immigration reforms to stall and his signature health law faced near-disaster upon its October rollout.
“We need to show the American people that we can get something done, either with Congress or on our own,” Mr. Pfeiffer told CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley.
Republicans are unlikely to be impressed by the White House’s rhetoric.
“It sounds vaguely like a threat, and it has a certain amount of arrogance,” Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, told CNN.
He said the federal government relies on a balance of powers, and that the president should realize that legislating is tough business. “It takes consensus,” he said.