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.
This is worst then watching the oil company's pointing fingers America wants results not finger pointing .
The Republicans have been fillibustering every bill that comes up in the Senate! The party of "no" refuses to take responsibility!!! They will do anything to get into power again, including block America's progress. Efforts were made to include their ideas, and they still said "no." Sorry John, I say "no" to Republicans and your corporate agenda.
The Dems response to Cornyn's lie is...
I just love it when the Democrats, who have been IN CHARGE of Congress and the economy for 4 years, continue to try to blame the Republicans for their spending problems. The spending issue, the housing issue, the economic downturn could have been prevented by CONGRESS, you fools, and it is time that you quit trying to pawn it off on the President, whoever he is. Congress are the ONLY ones that can authorize spending, change laws, establish regulation, and the Democrats have failed!
Bill Clinton's first two years were terrible, and George H. left far less mess than junior. After a month in office, Clinton in his first address to the nation on February 15, 1993, announced his intention to raise taxes to cap the budget deficit. The Republicans SCREAMED it would lead to the end of the American way of life. Many of the guys I worked with were buying cabins in the mountain and setting them up with generators, supplies and weapons for when society broke down. And these guys were AIRLINE PILOTS.
The revolution never came. Instead we had 6 years of the greatest economic growth ANY nation has seen in the history of mankind. And unlike the modest growth under Scrub, the benefits were felt by the vast majority of people, instead of just the top 1%.
The GOP is voting no to try and stop this total gov. takeover and controll of everything in our lives. They are also trying to stop the out of controll spending that is destroying this country. For the first time in a long time I will vote a straight line ticket this year I will vote for all GOP's. I almost always vote a split ticket in every election but not this year. This stuff has got to be stopped now.
Nancy Pelosi's new office costs over $20,000.00 a month. Dont preach about spending. The Dems had congress since 2006, when Obama was a Senator. Can anyone tell me what he did during that time other than neglect his duties, run for office, and take money from unions and BP?
I think I love reading the posts more than the article. All I've read is a bunch of folks blaming the other. Sounds just like Washington. Instead of working on a solution, more energy is spent blaming the other. Sounds like a bunch of bickering 5 year olds. What needs to be solved is the disease of laziness that's plaguing this country. I hear people upset that tax cuts benefit the rich. Well here's a simple solution, put a single tax rate on everyone. Then, you'll know everyone's paying their fair share. Honestly, I think a lot of that talk is a result of jealousy. I think that because I grew up as a son of a poor farmer. I busted my but to get through college (Still trying to pay that debt off), ad I'm making good money. Now folks say I'm rich so I should pay more. Like I said, I think jealousy and laziness have infected the US. Unfortunately, that leaves us with a blame game and no solutions.
The president needs too get a couple of Budwieser trucks full of beers and get congress so drunk they will sign these bills and maybe we can all get along with our lives .
When I took over a job for someone who left, I became responsible. I never blamed my predecessor for any thing, even if he or she left a mess. The Democratic congress and the president, still blame the Republicans for their role in government, even when they had the majority and created the mess we are in. I like to hear the president tell the truth, but that is highly unlikely.
Does Cornyn even hear what he is saying? He is showing his political, historical and financial ignorance. Whatever he (or anybody) has to say should at least be factually correct, and this article just sounds like he's simply repeating junk mouth stuff from Glen Beck, etc. Those people are entertainers at best and divisive hate mongers at worst, so repeating their unfactual drivel just makes him look like an uneducated and unaware fool.
If you really think about it, the President has done a great deal to get this country back in shape and he and the congress, or the Democrats in congress are try their best to except all the responsibility necessary for getting the show going correctly. But, they are up against a party "Republicans" that absolutely do not want to do anything for the average American and never have done anything.
@Michael Armstrong Sr. Tx. June 27th, 2010 4:51 pm ET
The president needs too get a couple of Budwieser trucks full of beers and get congress so drunk they will sign these bills and maybe we can all get along with our lives
I have seen some of the work coming out of Congress, you sure they not drunk already? With power that is!
"When I took a job..."
I just waved a magic wand around and the debt and the recession CREATED by the previous president just washed away like stains in the laundry.
When I took over a job, I became responsible. I never blamed my predecessor for the mess he or she left behind; I took responsibility. The president and the Democratic congress still blame the republicans for their role in government, when the Democrats were and are the majority. I like for them to take responsibility for the mess we are in and quit. Also, I would like to hear the president speak the truth without blaming others. But that is highly unlikely.