Let Me Start: The fiscal cliff PR war

Updated
By Hardball staff
FILE - This March 20, 2012 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and President Barack Obama walk down the steps of the Capitol in Washington....
FILE - This March 20, 2012 file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and President Barack Obama walk down the steps of the Capitol in Washington....
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

House Republicans continue their public relations push today, meeting with small business owners to try and sell their fiscal cliff proposal, which would extend all the Bush tax cuts including those for the top 2% earners.

According to The Hill, the meeting will focus on the danger to the economy should tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire at the end of the year. Throughout the election, Republicans talked a big game about championing small businesses, many of which file as individuals and therefore fall under the top 2% category. The meeting will be held in the office of Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, who today put out an attack of the White House’s fiscal cliff plan, which he called an assault on small businesses.

But can the House GOP really out-campaign President Obama, a proven PR pro in his own right? While the Republicans are trying to sell their deficit-cutting counter-offer, Obama will be in a meeting of his own with business leaders, this one with the Business Roundtable, an organization of high-powered CEOs. The president will continue to make the case that businesses will do better if middle class families do not see their tax rates go up at the end of the year, a consequence many Democrats say will ensue should tax breaks for the rich continue.

Rising GOP star Sen. Marco Rubio received the Kemp Leadership Award on Tuesday, and the Florida senator along with former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan used the occasion to try and reboot the Republican party. Rubio used the phrase “middle class” 34 times in his speech, while Ryan used the word “poverty” 15 times in an effort to create some space between himself and Mitt Romney’s disastrous 47% remarks.

Tuesday was a disappointing day for disabled rights advocates, as Senate Republicans successfully downed a U.N. treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. 38 Republicans cast “no” votes, and the treaty fell 5 short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification. Not even the presence of 89-year-old Fmr. Sen. Bob Dole, who is himself a disabled veteran, was enough to break the Republican resolve to block the treaty, which tea party favorite Sen. Mike Lee argued could by its very nature threaten U.S. sovereignty.

And be on the lookout today for the Forbes annual Most Powerful People List, including heads of state, business and religious leaders, opinion makers, and even criminals. Last year, President Obama came in at number one.

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Let Me Start: The fiscal cliff PR war

Updated