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. Grace

    The Democrats are in this now. How can they not take responsibility when Obama and the Democratic Congress has quadrupled the federal deficit in the first year Obama was in office? Obama likes to point the finger at others calling out other people's mistakes, always blaming the Republican party, which goes against the idea that he would bring people together. It's time for the Democrats to own up to their mistakes.

    June 27, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. welches, oregon

    Every current president inherits what the previous pres. did. Just like bush inherited a budget surplus and chose to give that to the rich, Obama has inherited the ramifications from the previous administrartion. The next POTUS will inherit all the good Obama has done and continues to do during his administration . The GOP know better than anyone about this, and are hoping and praying they win back the WH in 2012. then when the economy has recovered and the country is finally on the right tract, they can say "they" did it.

    BUT now the people have awoken and are aware. The GOP will never fool the american people again. WE see your stand of "NO" to everything good for the people and we will NEVER trust that type of leadership again.

    Your GOP followers can post all over the blogs and spew their hate and lies, but the people who will never trust the GOP again will speak loudly and more clearly with their votes in the next few elections.

    June 27, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. A keen observer

    Talking about not taking responsibility, what about the republican filibuster that ended unemployment benefits for millions of unemployed Americans.

    Why do republicans hate America and Americans? Explain that, Mr. Cornyn.

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

    Republicans. They they go again. LOL !

    June 27, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Hendrik

    These Republican clown warrant no more than silence:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------.

    June 27, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Jon Audino

    I am so tired of the same old, same old. We need term limits NOW!!!!

    As a taxpayer, and an American the democrats party-line is repulsive: they have created NO JOBS. They've controlled congress since '06 and the economy has gotten worse and worse.

    When Bush cut taxes the tax receipts in this country INCREASED. The problem is that spending increased faster. Both parties need to stop spending now.

    The unemployment argument is a joke. 100 weeks is not unemployment, it is welfare. There are plenty of jobs out there, these people need to get off their buts and go get one, just like the rest of us.

    June 27, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. tcaudilllg

    Employers don't need incentives. They need hearts.

    That said I'm still waiting for Google to take over everything.

    June 27, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Yes, I'm sure after the GOP keeps voting NO after NO, it's the democrats stopping progress on the economy...

    June 27, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. tim

    Cornyn: "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.” Please. This is nonsense. over the last decade, Rebublicans got the U.S. into two wars, drove the economy into a chum bucket, bailed out Wall Street and blew all goodwill across the world, created no jobs, deregulated everything, etc, all while spending like there is no tomorrow and without any accountability...and since President Obama took office they have been ad naseum obstructionists and reactionaries. These guys need to either dissappear into political history or change their platform, because they sound like good ol' boys. They're dinosaurs pretending they're evolving into something else...oh right, evolution isn't real! Good night and good luck.

    June 27, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. sigsauer

    I am confused–which these days is not hard to understand–I am an independent who does not vote a party line of either party so I will voice my opinion. Werent the democrats in control of the house and senate the last 2 years of bush's administration. Doesnt the House control the purse strings of the government? I find it hard for them to keep blaming bush. So–actually the democrats have had control for over 3 1/2 years. Is just my opinion.

    June 27, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Dee Dee Lynn

    I guess Senator Cornyn forgot that the last time Republicans were in charge, they ballooned the deficit with 2 wars and tax cuts for business and the wealthy. In fact, I believe they were characterized as "spending like drunken sailors" by one well-known member of their own party.

    If we put them back in power, its hard to understand how we won't see the same thing. They cozied up to Enron, they are still cozying up to BP (Smoky Joe Barton even saying they are being abused). No, I don't think they are the party of Change.

    June 27, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans have failed the people in their responsibility of nation building, but instead they chose to do nothing but throw stones. People can't eat stones nor are we living in a stone age. Why are these Republicans on payroll if they aren't helping rebuild our nation? Republicans are earning a paycheck on one word "NO" and it's time for Americans to demand they earn their checks and roll up their sleeves and help. I'm tired of seeing them show up in Washington in their $1000 suites, shoes and ties and manicured nails.

    June 27, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. welches, oregon

    @ Jon Audino

    oh really? Just where are these jobs you speak of? My husband has a masters degree in psychology and can't find a job after being laid off for almost one year – where are they????

    June 27, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. Peter E

    In 2004 Bush's economic policies were still netting a loss of jobs from 2000. And yet Bush and the GOP continued to blame the previous administration for that, after 4 years! And they have the galls to blame the current administration after less than half that time? Hypocrisy!

    June 27, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. stephen

    Amazing! Still blaming the other guy.

    What did the Democrats inherit that they didn't help create? They opted for millions of earmarks (as did the Republicans) then Senator Obama, with his colleagues, had the majority beginning in January 2007 and proposed NOTHING.

    Let's not forget, Bush's principles DID eliminate his inherited recession from Clinton by providing 52 consecutive months of job growth, coupled with a misery index of just under 6%) and unmemployment just under 5%.......Oh, and the DOW Jones experienced 41 all time high in 2007.

    June 27, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. AK Steve

    I love when republicans say stuff like, " job creation and incentives for the private sector to create jobs." We all know that this means tax cuts to the rich and the so-called trickle down effect it will create.

    Well it has never worked. The GOP cut taxes and created no new jobs. They did create this mess. And if left in charge only would have made it worse. Can you imagine if McCain won and imposed spending freezes? We would have lost jobs but the millions! While at the same time accumulating more debt because he'd be sure to give his fat cat friends (including companies like BP) huge tax breaks.

    The Dems have stabilized an economy that was in FREE-FALL. I hope they do start taking some credit/accountability for it. They saved our country from the corporate interest GOP, that – yes – got us in to this mess in the first place

    June 27, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. normajean

    Senator Cornyn of Texas arrogantly says it's time for the Democrats to take over responsibility for the job volunterred for. May I remind the Senator that this is a TWO PARTY government and that so far the Democratic party is handling the "mess" they "inherited", totally by themselves. There is a tremendous amount of work involved and the Repubs have made "NO" their answer when needed. The truth is that after the Republican party made such a drastic litter out of every phase of the government, they were more than happy to turn it over to someone else to clean up and then just sit back and watch, which is exactly what they have done. You and your party are way out of line to even open your big mouths unless it's to help, which you won't do..Also, don't mention spending after the 7 trillion debt that Bush left for the country.to try to deal with.The one thing you DO have is NERVE.

    June 27, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Jeff from Ohio

    I'm not a Republican, nor am I a fan of Bush. But, Cornyn is dead-on with his statements.

    George Bush is gone. He's no longer the President. He made a LOT of mistakes and, for that, the Democrats were given unlimited power in the 2008 elections. The White House, and HUGE majorities in both the House and the Senate.

    The Democrats response is simply to implement socialism in America, which will ensure that our economic woes will deepen. From Health Care Reform to the latest Financial Reform package, the Democrats have shown they are willing to destroy this nation's economy to implement their liberal platform.

    Thousands of people will lose their jobs as a result of these measures. Budget deficits will continue to skyrocket. Obama and the Democrats know this. But, they simply don't care. They want to expand government control over our society and implement a Socialist economy in the United States.And they are willing to bankrupt as many Americans as it takes to accomplish this goal.

    Plain and simple – the Republicans AND the Democrats are horrible. The Republicans went way right from 2000-2008 and the Democrats have now gone way left. And, most of America is left in the middle wondering what the hell is going on and paying the price for the shameful, destructive political games the two major parties are playing with our lives and out futures.

    We need a new party that is based in the CENTER of the political spectrum.

    June 27, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Wait! Didn't the Democrats win a majority position in both houses of congress in 2006? If so, then they should certainly be taking a large portion of the responsibility for all those problems that they are blaming on the Bush administration.

    The Democrats, otherwise known as the party that refuses to recognize or take responsibility for their own actions, are much like very young children in that regard.

    June 27, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Adalbert

    Why would anyone in their right mind would want the do nothing irresponsible GOP back in power? After all most of our major problems of today were created by the GOP of yesteryears.

    June 27, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. Steve (the real one)

    Folks seem to forget the Dems have had the Congress for long time how and It is the Congress who makes the laws and controls the checkbook. Yes, there is enough blame to go around but is blaming and finger pointing a real strategy, dems? Don't forget Clinton, through Janet Reno threatened banks to make ridiculous loans to people who could not pay back. Last last time I checked Clinton was and still is a Dem! As far as the wars as concerned, I can name many Dems who voted for the wars! The Dems had a major hand in the housing bubble, AND the Dems had a major hand in both wars and still do. What is it you Dems always like to toss up? "You are welcome to you own options but not you own facts". Heed your own advice, for once! You wanted the power, you got it , and you seem to not be able to handle it!

    June 27, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. johnRJ08

    Cornyn is corrupt 'good old boy' from the Old South. Nothing that comes out of his mouth is the truth. That's why the GOP picked him to be in charge of fund raising. He's an accomplished liar and obfuscater.

    June 27, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Bob(Illinois)

    Senator Cornyn is certainly no student of recent history!

    June 27, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. welches, oregon

    Jeff from Ohio watches too much Glen Beck

    June 27, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  25. gary

    no one wants to take responsibility. the economy is not obama's fault and it wasn't bushes fault either. the key is to get our economy back on track we need everyone working, more hours, more pride in our work. we need everyone (even the poorest people) paying some taxes, but obviously the rich need to pay more than the poor. we need people to save, pay down their debt and live responsibly. we need the government to cut spending, continue the bush tax cuts another 3 years, try to balance the budget through spending cuts so that we don't saddle our grandchildren with unreasonable debt. kids need to work part time in high school and college and we all need to work until we are 72. this work ethic is the only thing that will create a long lasting sustained recovery and healthy economy.

    June 27, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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