RNC chair Michael Steele took to the airwaves on Tuesday to demand that the Obama administration not "demonize" and "demagogue" the financial sector, lest it ice a major engine of job creation in this country.
Appearing on CNBC's "Squawk Box," Steele said that the American public shouldn't "trust the federal government to get it done" with respect to job growth. "We're here on Wall Street. We are on Main Street. Trust those people who built the economy in the past. The federal government has never created one job that is sustainable long term."
It was a rather daring political gambit considering the poor repute with which Wall Street continues to be held. Indeed, host Erin Burnett, hardly a major critic of the financial industry, noted quickly that the public wouldn't take easily to the notion that Wall Street is where job creation takes place -- recent history proving to be evidence to the contrary.
In fact, Steele's accusation that the president had demonized the financial sector seemed drawn from a drastically different playbook than what his own staff was using as recently as yesterday.
As a sources points out, the RNC placed a research document on its own website Monday asking why Obama, "18 Months In," had not down anything "to Crack Down On Wall Street."
Under the header "OBAMA PROVING AS INCAPABLE OF CRACKING DOWN ON WALL STREET AS HE IS INEFFECTIVE IN DEALING WITH THE GULF," the RNC places a host of clips accusing the administration of coming up short both in terms of white collar prosecution and financial regulatory reform -- the very same types of demagoguery that Steele seemingly lamented on Tuesday morning.
Asked about the seeming discrepancy, RNC spokesman Doug Heye said there was no contradiction at all. "Wall Street - and individual companies - should of course be held accountable for any wrong doing," he emailed. "Similarly, the Obama Administration should be held accountable, whether it is for falling asleep at the switch in the Gulf or not following through on campaign promises."
Obama has insisted that his policy preference is to ensure that effective regulatory reform be put in place at the same time that Wall Street be given the space to continue generating jobs and wealth. If anything, for Steele and the RNC to accuse him of giving the financial industry the cold shoulder is to ignore how much further this administration could have gone in cracking the whip with the financial sector.