Speechgate: How Obama’s Jobs Address Got Postponed

After squaring off with House Speaker John Boehner over when President Barack Obama could address Congress on his job plan, the White House announced late Wednesday that they would postpone the speech back a day to Thursday, Sept. 8. But the final result came after an entire day of partisan bickering over who would come out on top. Here’s a look at how the day played out, blow by blow:11:55 a.m.: White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer announces on Twitter that President Obama has called for a joint session of Congress Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. so he can make his much-anticipated jobs speech to lawmakers and the nation.

12:26 p.m.: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tells reporters in the White House briefing room that, “No, of course not,” the speech was not deliberately scheduled at the same time as the GOP debate on Sept. 7. “And obviously one debate of many that’s on one channel of many was not enough reason not to have the speech at the time that we decided to have it.”

2:55 p.m.: Chad Pergram, a congressional correspondent for Fox, tweets that the White House gave Boehner’s office only a 15 minute heads up before going public with the speech announcement.

2:56 p.m.: NBC/Politico announce the debate will not be postponed.

3:05 p.m.
: Politico’s John Harris tweets that the speech timing was a “terrific turn of events. It raises the profile of the whole evening…makes it the first general election debate.”

3:06 p.m.
: NBC/Politico, co-sponsors of the GOP debate, send out an email stating the “debate would not be postponed,” adding that the organizers would be “thrilled that we now have a terrific opportunity to hear from national leaders of both major parties about the most pressing domestic issues facing the country.”

3:21 p.m.: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus chimes in via press release saying, “President Obama’s decision to address Congress at the same time as a long-scheduled Republican Presidential debate cements his reputation as Campaigner-in-Chief.”

4:17 p.m.: House Speaker John Boehner sends a letter to President Obama asking that he delay the speech by a day due to logistics issues concerning security.

5:12 p.m.: Glenn Thrush tweets that Obama administration officials say the date and time of the speech was “cleared” with Boehner’s office.

5:50 p.m.: Brendan Buck, Boehner’s press secretary, pushes back on White House claims that the timing was cleared. He directly emailed reporters to say “No one in the Speaker’s office – not the Speaker, not any staff – signed off on the date the White House announced today. Unfortunately we weren’t even asked if that date worked for the House. Shortly before it arrived this morning, we were simply informed that a letter was coming.”

6:07 p.m.: An aide to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Boehner didn’t consult with House Democratic leaders about seeking a new date for Obama’s speech.

6:17 p.m.: A senior Democratic aide adds fuel to the fire by saying that, “The childish behavior coming out of the Speaker’s office today is truly historic. It is unprecedented to reject the date that a President wants to address a Joint Session of the Congress. People die and state funerals are held with less fuss, so the logistics excuse by the Speaker’s office is laughable. Yes, consultation always occurs, but the President always gets the date he wants.”

9:16 p.m.: Following a meeting between Boehner and Obama aides, a statement by Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney declares that the president would “welcome the opportunity” to address Congress on September 8th, after all, a day later than initially announced.

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