The Republican National Committee has released excerpts of the response Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will be giving to President Obama's speech tonight. Jindal's message is a familiar one -- the problem with Republicans recently, and the reason voters have rejected them, is that the party has gotten away from its principles, especially on spending. (Whether that's true or not is a separate issue; I'd argue that it isn't.)
That message forms the core of Jindal's argument, which is largely that while Democrats want "to raise taxes and put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians," Republicans think "that Americans can do anything" and that "the way to lead is by empowering you -- the American people." (This is, essentially, code for tax cuts.)
The excerpts released thus far conclude with Jindal saying:
A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said "we may not be able to reverse." Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don't let anyone tell you that we cannot recover -- or that America's best days are behind her.
That's misleading, at best, though it's a cute little frame. ("Obama doesn't believe in you!") In context, it's clear that the quote Jindal refers to means almost exactly the opposite of what he says it does. The full quote, which comes from an op-ed that ran in the Washington Post under Obama's byline, reads, "[I]f nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse."