Image: Barack Obama
Carolyn Kaster / AP file

TODAY   |  September 08, 2011

What’s new in Obama’s jobs plan?

President Obama will go before a joint session of Congress Thursday night to unveil his jobs plan. White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley gives TODAY’s Matt Lauer a preview of the plan, and msnbc’s Joe Scarborough tells TODAY’s Ann Curry what Obama can do to turn things around.

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>> of course will address the joints session of congress tonight and unveil his new jobs plan for the nation. bill daley is the president's cheefr of staff. good morning.

>> good morning, matt.

>> so let's talk about what is critical in this jobs proposal tonight, what will the president say that he hasn't said in the years past or that he couldn't have proposed in the last year or so as unemployment was hovering at around 9.1%.

>> matt, the president tonight will announce his very innovative programs both for job creation and a way to grow the economy. the american job act which will be introduced next would he be which the president will speak to tonight, are a series of enknow straight testify ideas that have shown almost all of them to have bipartisan support. many of these programs, matt, are innovative, creative, new ideas, put together at a time where the american people believe something must be done by congress . these ideas some people may say, oh, these ideas some of them have been thought about, talked about, but they are as a package, as an act, a way if congress will act now, a way to help people. that's what the president is committed to do. if congress will act.

>> you have just thrown out and the president has said in the last couple of days these are ideas with a history of bipartisan support. and yet mitch mcconnell said that while they will listen politely, they don't want to hear ideas from the past. they don't want more spending and more bore re irowborrowing.

>> matt, no one is talking about borrowing. these will all be paid for and the president will state right up front that these are all going to be paid for. this is not about creating more debt. those of us like you and i who have done quite well over the economy the last couple years out to pay a little more. but the american people are tired of the rhetoric and inaction.to pay a little more. but the american people are tired of the rhetoric and inaction. it's time to get back for the american people and not continue this sort of political rhetoric that we hear too often. the american people are sick and tired of it. so the president tonight will continue to be firm about action now.

>> ten days after the president was sworn in back in 2009 , i sat down with him at the white house . we talked about jobs and the economy. at that time unemployment was 8.1%. i want you to listen to what he he had to say and i'll get your creation reaction on the other side.

>> at some point will you say, wait a minute, we've spent this money, we're not seeing results, we have to change course?

>> i'm at the start of my administration. one nice thing about the situation i find myself in is that i have be held accountable. i have four years.

>> you'll know quickly how people feel.

>> that's right. a year from now i think people will see that we're starting to make some progress, but there will still be some pain out there. if i don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one term proposition.

>> as i said, 8.1% unemployment when he said those words. it's 9.1% now. are those words going to prove prophetic?

>> every person in government has a responsibility and they will be held accountable. the president said it, he knows it every day. no one at that time of that interview had any idea of the depth of the economic crisis we would stumble into. we had already lost 4 million jobs before he even became president of the united states . it has been much worse than anyone thought. that's not an excuse for anyone. that's not an excuse for congress . it's time for action. this american jobs act that the president will introduce can help the american people if congress acts. they have to do that for the american people . not for the politics that may be going on in america today.

>> when you say chief of staff bill daley . mr. daley, thank you for your time.

>>> if more on the president's speech and the gop debate, we have joe scarborough . hey, joe, good morning. so who could the president possibly say to turn around the direction of the country and his poll number sths.

>> the president is in a very difficult spot. people have heard jobs speeches before. but most americans don't think the president or republicans are focused on it. the first two years, there was a huge debate about health care . this past year, we've been talking about the deficit. this president is going to have to say something that jolts america into action, that jolts congress into action, and he'll have to be seen as strong. this is a president whose own base believes is far too weak. and he was preempted by the republican debate last night and preempted by the packers tonight. because of that, this is going to be showing at 4:00 on the west coast .

>> meantime no matter what he says, at least three republicans are not going to be in the audience including jim dement. and one of these is actually saying that he'll opt to hold a twitter town hall during the speech. is this disrespectful to the office of the president ?

>> i don't know if it's dis ful. quonk it's smart. it's not like the president has gained much traction in the past. i think the republicans just like the president have an american people waiting to see them work together. you look at poll after poll, americans have lost confidence in the president and republicans in congress and americans want to see these two sides working together. now, that may not excite the base, but that's sxat exactly where middle america is.

>> last night at the gop debate, did rick perry say what he needed to say to maintain his momentum as he's now currently the leading candidate s?

>> i don't think so. i think his biggest problem is the social security issue. he keeps calling it a ponzi scheme . if you want to say social security is a ponzi scheme and this is what we need to do to fix it, that's fine. but he doesn't. he says it's a ponzi scheme , it's a lie. he wrote in his book last year that it does violence to american values . i don't care what primary you're running in, i don't care how powerful the tea party is, that will spell problems.

>> and it's clear mitt romney is making hay of that already. but i guess the other question is what about the other candidates. so many of the focus was really on these two and on twitter, romney and perry were the trending topic. is this a two-man race at this point?

>> it's a two-man race right now, but just a few weeks ago, michele bachmann was the hot candidate. earlier this spring, remember who was at the top of the list? trump. and then apprentice comes along. this past fall, it was sarah palin . there's always mitt romney and somebody else. the question is does rick perry survive a month or two. i don't know that he does. i think mitt romney 's people are very happy with where they are right now.

>> meantime i want to mention that you've got a very personal project or working on involving 9/11.

>> right. our show, like every show, we are trying to figure out how to honor 9/11. wroi a song and we decided to put to video and it's called reason to believe . we're working with willie geist an operation man to try to help soldiers coming home.

>> a personal project . thank you so much for putting your heart into it as you did this interview. and of course you can watch president obama 's address to congress tonight at 7:00 p.m . eastern here on nbc.