June 27th, 2010
03:18 PM ET
8 years ago

Cornyn: Dems not taking responsibility for being in charge


Sens. Cornyn and Menendez sparred Sunday over what Democrats inherited in January 2009. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) – With the midterm elections less than five full months away, the man in charge of the GOP’s election effort in the Senate issued a sharp rejoinder Sunday to an oft-repeated message from national Democrats.

In the 17 months since President Obama took office in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Democratic leaders have frequently said Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats “inherited” a mess on several fronts left behind by the Bush administration acting in league with House and Senate Republicans.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, suggested it’s time for Democrats to take responsibility for controlling the levers of government.

“Well, I’m waiting for this administration to take responsibility for the job it volunteered for and our Democratic colleagues who are in the majority [in the House and the Senate] and who run the show in Congress,” Cornyn told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

Challenged by Crowley on the frequent Democratic contention that Obama has “inherited” a difficult set of circumstances from his predecessor, Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said his party is trying to put the present situation in the proper context.

“[Y]ou have to understand where we came from to understand where we're going,” Menendez said, joining Cornyn on Sunday’s broadcast. “And part of it is that my Republican colleagues like to start the present in January of 2009 [when Obama was inaugurated]. They forget the history that brought us to January in 2009, and the consequences that we are in.

“And those are consequences of tax cuts unpaid for, two wars unpaid for, a new entitlement program unpaid for, huge debt, and an economy that was flat-lined that this president is trying to revive along with Democrats.”

Later in the interview, Cornyn summed up the GOP’s core message about Democrats and their leadership since early 2009.

“ Well, first it's no accountability, no responsibility for a year-and-a-half of governing, and where things have gotten worse, not better,” he told Crowley.

Then Cornyn added, “My basic message is that if you like the way things are happening in Washington these days, then vote for Senator Menendez's slate of candidates. If you want change, if you want to cut down on all of the reckless spending and this endless debt, if you want us to really focus on job creation and incentives for the private sector to create jobs, then I think our candidates bear a close looking at.”

Speaking about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s general election matchup against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle, Menendez said this fall’s Senate races will present a clear choice when it comes to how each party approaches the struggling economy.

“And that's what all of the elections are going to be about - not the national norm –choices between a Republican who wants to take us back to the failed economic policies, and a Democrat who is working hard to bring us forward creating jobs and opportunities,” he said.

Filed under: 2010 • John Cornyn • Popular Posts • Robert Menendez • Senate • State of the Union
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    Did the Republicans take any responsibility for 12 years of being in charge?

    Oh no they didn't, they even tried to blame 911 on Clinton, that is how low these life parasites called Republicans will go.

    June 27, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    "...a new entitlement program unpaid for..."

    First, the Dems are absolutely at liberty to introduce legislation getting rid of that program. It was an inexcusable expense at the time and it's no less inexcusable now.

    Second, the cost of Obamacare makes the prescription drug benefit look absolutely trivial, and that enormous, economy-busting, expense is 100% the Democrats' fault.

    June 27, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Angry in Oregon

    Sleazebags like Cornyn need to be shot by firing squad.

    He conveniently forgets it was he who was presenting himself as the "political soulmate" of George W bush when he was running for Senate in 2004 in Texas.

    June 27, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Selective GOP Vision

    I agree!! It is SO convenient how the GOP forgets the MESS they left the country in when Obama was inaugurated.

    Now they expect Obama to fix in a year whatever BUSH took 8 years to ruin, deregulate, create a deficit for, and generally run into the ground to help his pal corporations.

    Obama has taken responsibility. Bush NEVER took responsibility...he and Cheney shot from the hip, listened to no one else, ridiculed anyone who disagreed......and thank goodness were voted out of office.

    (Regardless of my dislike for his politics, I do wish Cheney luck in his recovery in the hospital)

    June 27, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Beth

    Ah Senator, I thought elephants have good memories. Who started these "two wars unpaid for ... a huge debt?" Yup, none other than your poster-boy Pres. Bush. How quickly and conveniently you forget, you hypocrite!

    June 27, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Dale

    Once we hear the Repubs. taking responsibility for screwing everything up in the first place then we can talk. Until then this is just more Repubs blaming of everyone else for that which they do themselves.

    June 27, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. hobart

    More Republican hypocrisy. Republicans filibuster, obstruct, and downright lie to prevent this administration from getting anything done; and yet, they have the audacity to blame their own loathsome behavior on Democrats.

    Why is it the Republican created this mess with their policies - deregulation of the financial industry led to the collapse of our economy; deregulation of the health insurance industry led to most of us on Main Street losing our health insurance; deregulation of the oil industry is leading to environmental destruction of the Gulf Coast and all the jobs that went with it - and have the audacity to lie and blame it all on the current administration? Why is that Republicans, who created these messes, block any and every attempt to fix things with endless filibusters?

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    June 27, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Mr. Trueman

    You've got to be kidding. Every thing the dems try to do the repubs block and hinder. Why can't we have a congress that works for us?

    June 27, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Pragmatic

    "Republican like to start the present in January of 2009 [when Obama was inaugurated]. They forget the history that brought us to January in t 2009, and the consequences." That says it all –

    Then add in the GOP alternative budget: 19 pages with no numbers, the health care debate chant of "death panels" Now Republican lawmakers are joining a growing GOP effort to halt the push for immigration reform, arguing the time is not right to take on the massive and complex issue ... not to mention, that when it comes to extending unemployment benefits ... that's the only time "deficits matter!"

    Will the GOP be running on "let America fail" platform again?

    June 27, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  10. mama panda

    Quit waiting, Mr. Cornyn, and start cooperating. Maybe then the Democrats, and the nation, will get somewhere.

    June 27, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  11. Riley

    The dems need to stop blaming Bush. They are starting to sound like school kids, who refuse to take responsibilty for anything.


    June 27, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  12. Ron from SC

    The GOP just doesn't and will never get it. They are the most useless group of people I have ever seen. Do they really think that continuing to do things in their antiquated obstructionist way will do anything? Do they really think that the American people don't see what they are doing? They are cashing ego checks that they can't afford. Who do these people think they are? Are they so full of themselves that they believe that they can do anything and get away with it. Do they think we all just forgot that they almost brought this country to financial ruin with their policies of turning big corporations, banks, wall street and insurance companies loose to do whatever they wanted for profit? What about the two wars they got us into without a plan for paying for them? They voted against health care reform, education and now they voted against unemployment for millions of Americans that lost their jobs because of their failed and old fashioned policies. The Republican economic policy is referred to at "trickle down economics". What that really means is support the rich and they will piss on all those that aren't rich!

    June 27, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. Murphy

    IThe American people want a quick fix...and when they don't get it..they want to rush right back into the arms of the policies that caused the problem in the first place. This economy did not happen overnight and it will not be fixed overnight. The Obama administration made it quite clear from the beginning that this would be a slow going process. The Republicans have not given any indication that they have changed their viewpoints or policies...in fact they are going one step further and entrenching themselves in the same ideology...big oil, big business, no regulation, religion religion religion. We are retarded as a nation if we go back to that.

    June 27, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  14. sensible Cape Coral FL

    Does Cornyn really think any intelligent person cares about what he has to say? (The operative word there is INTELLIGENT?)

    June 27, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. d collins

    before anybody start blaming bush remember democrats was in majority since 2006 dodd and frank was in charge of fannie mae and freddy mack.and since they have had a majority in both houses they cant blame anybody else but themselves in that nothing has gotten done.bush made mistakes yes i agree but to keep blaming him after all this time is redicules.

    June 27, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. Ruth

    How soon republicans forget! The economy has been BAD for more than 17 months. I know people who have been unemployed for 4 years. If my memory serves me right, I don't think Obama was president then. Wake up sleeps heads-George Bush and Cheney caused this mess with invading Iraq and Afghanistan, And I might add -it was all over OIL.

    June 27, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  17. bettyboop33

    LOL. Senator Cornyn preaching accountability what a joke. Why weren't you preaching accountability during Dubya Admin. ie: Declaring & justifying war on Iraq, when in reality NO weapons of mass destruction were ever found. Halliburton, Rove, not to mention wall street & banking fiasco, GTMO, torture, wiretapping. Rebates for the 1% of Americas wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Catering to "Big Oil" & the GREEDY, with deregulation, for companies like BP who have NO regard for human life or our precious environment. Twelve years of the Americas worst Presidential Admin., and now YOU & the GOP want to criticize President Obama's Admin. after only 1 1/2 years?? President Obama is holding up well, considering the mess he inherited. He is a president not a magician. Go back to doing what the Gop does best, absolutely NOTHING.

    June 27, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx.

    The Democrats are forgetting that for the past 3 yrs. they had majority of the house and could have stopped any wrong's going on but did nothing so blaming only George Bush is only fair if you blame yourself .

    June 27, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. melissa

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
    It is the republicans who refuse to take responsibility for the mess that they have created.
    Now they want to blame the democrats for not being able to mop up their mess quickly enough.
    And what about the republican obstructionism?
    They are against everything the democrats want to do to fix this mess that republicans left us!

    June 27, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Douglas J. De Clue

    Well if John and his friends would get out of the way and stop telling us no perhaps the Dems could actually reach the levers.

    June 27, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. tjm05

    Haven't the democrats really been running things since 2006? It was then that they took control of the House, the Senate, a majority of State governorships, and state legislatures? It seems that democrats have been in control of a lot things for the past four years, It was the democratically controlled congress that passed the Bush era stimulus packages (everyone remember those checks going out in the summer of 2008?). If the democrats want to play with the big kids, they need to act like big kids instead of blaming everything on the dog.

    June 27, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Rick

    It's going to take time to fix the mess George Bush and the Republicans made when they were in control of Congress.

    June 27, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Honestly

    One word: IRONY

    The Republicans refuse to fund help for the unemployed BECAUSE THEY DON'T THINK THERE IS A CRISIS.

    The Republicans refused to help pull the country out of recession BECAUSE THEY DON'T THINK THERE IS A CRISIS.

    The Republicans refuse to impose tougher safety standards on undersea oil rigs (like simultaneous drilling of a relief well) BECAUSE THEY DON'T THINK THERE IS A CRISIS.

    Republicans voted for unfunded wars, unfunded spending Year after Year during the Reagan, Bush and Bush Jr years BECAUSE DICK CHENEY SAID DEFICITS DON'T MATTER.

    June 27, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. A keen observer

    Cornyn is a pompous fool. He seems to forget that the republicans have never accepted responsibility for their reckless spending since his idol Reagan took office. He rails against tax and spend Democrats but he loves borrow and spend republicans. At least Democrats pay for most of their programs while republicans pass the debt on to future generations. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    Do you really want to return to the republican cronyism and irresponsible spending of the Bush years?

    June 27, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Rick

    Also, George Bush and the Republicans started 2 wars without paying for them. You have to raise taxex to pay for this but no what do they do , they cut the taxes of the rich and give tax breaks to their friends. and you want to know why this countrys is in a mess like it"s in. Like George Bush said "Mission Accomplished" LOL!!!! Yep he destroyed this country with the help of the Republican Party. The party of no.

    June 27, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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