The White House is adding a 9 to the 999 economic plan that has dominated the Republican presidential debates over the past several weeks: the historic low 9 percent public approval rating for Congress cited in a recent opinion poll.

At his daily press briefing Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was making the case that President Obama’s national jobs tour is swaying public support to the administration’s jobs plan.

Conversely, Carney argued, polls showed that large majorities of Americans do not agree with the more obstructionist approach of Congress, which has failed to approve the president’s American Jobs Act.

“Another poll that shows how out-of-sync Republicans in Congress are with the mainstream is the recent one that showed a historic low 9 percent approval rating for Congress,” Carney said, citing a CBS News/New York Times poll out this week.

“I know 9 is a popular number in the Republican party, but this can’t possibly be the kind of 9 they want,” Carney said, before deadpanning his revision of GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s much-discussed economic plan: “9-9-9-9.”

Never mind that half of Congress is controlled by Democrats, who presumably are also poorly regarded.

As members of the White House press corps laughed, one scribe conceded, “That’s good. Was that impromptu or planned?”

Carney barely broke stride: “We certainly hope that the pressure that is mounting out there will be felt by members of Congress.”