Andrea Mitchell   |  February 24, 2010

Recovery or recession?

The Senate passed a $15 billion jobs bill to help the economy just as new home sales hit one of its lowest marks in 50 years. Democratic strategist Steve McMahon and Republican strategist Pat Buchanan discuss.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> socialist as some critics suggested. here at the table with me, steve mcmahon , democratic strategist on msnbc analyst pat buchanan . pat, what is his point here? he is talking to the business elite. message is also to get out to the done.

>> i his basic point is look i'm the mainstream democrat. i'm a free market advocate and here for government and our job is to help private enterprise do the job. it is not to supplant it. and i think it is a very centrist message he is delivering from all over that i read and heard so far.

>> he's saying let's not hurl accusations, he is saying let's come back to a new normal in washington.

>> right. david axelrod put it very well aier ago when he said the president's job is to be inclusive of the opposition and the opposition's job is to be constructive. and i think what he is trying to do at -- in a broader sense is that these are common problems, not democrat problems or republican problems. they are america's problems. we have to do it for the good of our country that may not always be for the good our party. i think it is a centrist message as well.

>> he is making a political message. obam obama has been hit with a socialist charge and has been hit -- people on wall street supported him. people on wall street who supported him apparently are turning off and turning towards -- good angry at the pop list many.

>> angry at his populism.

>> and rhetoric that came after the massachusetts --

>> they are angry at that and angry at -- because obama -- in a lot of cases he did take over private corporations, bailouts were huge. there is enormous backlash to it. what he what he is trying to say, some of this stuff hi to do. no other option and that may look like i'm trying to take over the government and take over the world but i'm not. i think he speaking to this audience which is big corporations, 200 top corporations. and he is and he is trying to tell them look, i'm not an ogre. i'm trying to help.

>> he scared a lot of people on wall street , rhetoric that's come out of the white house in the last couple of weeks. and steve, he has -- a tough balancing act. every time he reassures wall street , he make the public angry.

>> that's righ

>> that's right. there is a line in the speech today where he talks about the recovery has come to wall street before people out in america that paid for it are feeling the recovery themselves. that's the balance that he has to struk here. pat mentioned tipped over all these institutions. let's remember they were failed institutions or failing institutions.

>> lot of th

>> lot of that started before he took office.

>> took them over to avoid even greater failures and world economic collapse. you know, he likes to point out he didn't run for president to take over general motors or to bail out wall street . he ran to tackle big problems americans face. he hasn't been able to get to the big problems because he had to do the other things first.

>> let me bring to you his long on compensation. one of the big, obviously, points with the public. let me say here about compensation, most americans -- don't be grudge awards for jobs well done but what you raged people are the outside bonuses that requires massive public assistance . they hav they have to get that, don't they?

>> jamie dimon , a good guy.

>> in the room.

>> at the dinner last night.

>> look, people are out there, just hurting horribly. housing figures today are 1945 or something. and all these folk out there are hurting badly. jamie dimon is making money they can't even dream of. obama has to thread the needle between not fashion wall street and damaging the morale of wall street and at the same time, maintain some sort of sense of community with the working people out there. it is a hard thing to do.

>> quick, their argument would be -- they are the ones -- good guys that ran companies that worked well. not bailed out. you can make an argument at goldman if not for the aig bailout goldman would have been left with a lot of -- what could have brought it down.

>> you can make the argument that our banks are better than that bank and this bank didn't do anything.

>> whole system.

>> i don't think people on main street are making the distinction between goal goal and citigroup. they are seeing wall street get bailed out. they are seeing big bonuses going to a lot of folks. they haven't gotten --

>> that's right. they are getting money at 0% interest and lending it at 5%. or 7%. they are making a bundle and middle america is out there looking at that and saying aren't those the guys that were crying at the door and we bailed them out? they are making all that money. look at us. look where we are.

>> pat buchanan and steve mcmahon , thank you very much. coming