Former White House National Security Spokesman Tommy Vietor likened the job of the president to that of a parent.
"You got a lot of power but you can’t force everyone to do everything when you want them to," he said, blaming much of Washington's inaction on Republicans in Congress.
"What surprised us and a lot of people in the White House is the fact that some of the Republicans have just abdicated their duty [in Congress] and I think they need to be called out a little more loudly."
Vietor and his colleague, former director of speech writing for the president, Jon Favreau left the White House this year to start the political communications firm Fenway Strategies and both hold the same belief that, but for Congress, much more would be getting done in the nation's capitol.
Favreau cited an improving economy, the success of immigration reform passing the Senate, and his recent action on climate change as second term achievements that were accomplished "despite a Congress that has decided to continue to not cooperate or govern much at all."
He charged that, even in times of economic crisis, Republicans have been unwilling to cooperate with this administration.. "Even as strong as feelings were against President Bush, you know, around 9/11, everyone came together," he reminded. The White House hoped they would receive similar cooperation during the economic crisis.
Asked to size up the 2016 field, Vietor admitted, "I can’t imagine a nominee as strong in a general election or a primary as [Hillary Clinton] is right now," adding that he hoped she runs.
Watch the entire PRESS Pass interview with Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor above to hear more about their time at the White house and what President Obama told Favreau the first time he had to write a speech for him.
First published July 12 2013, 2:57 PM