2012 candidates sound off on debt deal
August 1st, 2011
12:43 PM ET
3 years ago

2012 candidates sound off on debt deal

(CNN) – Varied reactions to the debt deal are coming from Republican presidential candidates following Sunday's agreement between the White House and Congressional leaders to raise the nation's debt ceiling before the August 2 deadline.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who kept his distance from the debate ahead of the agreement, said as president his plan "would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced," that did not leave the door open to higher taxes and cuts to defense spending.

"President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and the 59th minute," Romney said in a statement. "I personally cannot support this deal."

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who has consistently opposed an increase to the debt limit, said President Obama "failed to lead and failed to provide a plan."

"The 'deal' he announced spends too much and doesn't cut enough," Bachmann said in a statement. "This isn't the deal the American people 'preferred' either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will."

Jon Huntsman, the former Utah gov. and U.S. ambassador to China, disagreed with his 2012 rivals, calling the agreement a "positive step toward cutting our nation's crippling debt."

He encouraged members of Congress to vote for the agreement and said he will advocate for a plan from the bipartisan committee that includes "real cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue-neutral tax reforms – without any tax hikes."

"The Republican members of Congress deserve tremendous credit for moving this debate to the forefront and at long last beginning to get Washington in line," Huntsman said in a statement.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich responded to the deal by outlining his approach to solving the debt crisis that would include a concentration on job creation, keeping politics out of national security and cutting spending by reforming and restructuring government.

"With so much work remaining to be done, this deal is yet another reminder of the urgent need to replace President Obama and his radical commitment to big government and higher taxes," Gingrich said in a statement.

Alex Conant, a spokesman for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the deal is "nothing to celebrate."

"Only in Washington would the political class think it's a victory when the government narrowly avoids default, agrees to go further into debt, and does little to reform a spending system that cannot be sustained by our children and grandchildren," Conant said in a statement. "While no further evidence was needed, this entire debt ceiling fiasco demonstrates that President Obama must be replaced."


Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Debt • Deficit • Jon Huntsman • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    At least the other two are relatively consistent... Mitt has been absent from the discussion. (Perhaps very busy measuring the political winds....) Regardless, he'll change his mind soon enough...

    August 1, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. V in Chicago

    Should of, would of, could of . . . Come on. It's easy to sit back and bash after the fact. Especially when you didn't have to work the long hours, put up with the tea party Hobbits (loves that term) and come to an agreement with people who think and believe completely the opposite of you. Just more political grandstanding from the circus clowns on the right. Nothing new here. Just waiting for Palin to put her .05 cents worth in. A little levity never hurt anything.

    August 1, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Hasn't Bachman missed something like 40 votes this year? But she'll magically show up for these ones...gee...I wonder why. As for Romney and Huntsman, the Rogaine has speeped into their cerebral circulatory systems and caused massive atrophy. BTW, Gingrich who? Talk about irrelevant.

    This is nothing more than conveniently safe sniping from the peanut gallery, from people who can pretend they'd do everything in an ideological vacuum just to tell their extremist base what they think they want to hear.

    August 1, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. guest

    without increasing taxes for the wealthy and corporations, and without closing tax loopholes, there will never be a fair budget. plain and simple

    August 1, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. aubrie

    This whole debacle is such a travesty.... I can't, for the love of God, figure out why when there is this much uncertainty and childish bickering in congress, that something this important is allowed to go to the PEOPLE for a vote.. We should have that right in cases like this... they are clearly not listening to their constituents...

    August 1, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Steve

    "positive step toward cutting our nation's crippling debt."

    How does adding more debt and spending turn into a positive step? When dealing with my own personal debt I consider paying back debt to be a positive step.

    August 1, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Steve

    Also, you get quotes from a few candidates but not Ron Paul?

    August 1, 2011 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Fixer2010

    Amen to that Andrew. A Pres candidate who wants to overstep the duties of government.....she wants less government and more her her her. Message to Bachmann: Go have a migraine and cure some gays, I'm sure you will have just as much success you bigoted witch, as becoming President.

    August 1, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. ObamaSham

    If it wasn't for the Tea Party we wouldn't even be talking about getting our government's fiscal house in order. Go Tea Party!

    August 1, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  10. Russell

    Mr. Romney and the automated talking point dispensers once again display their complate lack of independent thought. No part of this plan includes tax increases, expansion of government, or additional spending. How does he propose to 'cut, cap, and balance' since revenue is clearly the problem? President Obama did not push this deal to the 11th hour and 59th minute; that was the work of the right side of the aisle in both houses. Why don't the Republicans run Rush for president and cut out the middle man?

    August 1, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. Mike C

    I like how this article doesnt discuss Ron Paul, who's approach and solution is much smarter. If it had, it would surely mention how congress and the US President are always addressing the symptoms and never the cause. You could hear a clear explanation of this on YouTube if you search Ron Paul debt ceiling. Not surprised he isn't getting any press though. usually the people who are right on the money don't.

    August 1, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    Michele Bachmann please read Article I, Section 7 of the US Constitution.

    August 1, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. OUCHUSUCK

    I wonder if Bachmann would have cut her husbands funding????? NOT!!!!

    August 1, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. Terry

    The Tea Party Candidates fooled Senior Voters in 2010, and now they will face the wrath of the elderly vote come 2012. The Tea Party is hell-bent on destroying the GOP, and the majority of Republican Voters are going to make those one-termers go away. The Silver Haired Silent Majority comes with a memory for those who lie and mislead, just to get elected.

    August 1, 2011 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  15. Wayne

    "NO" is not a solution to any problem!

    August 1, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Sounds like Bachmann, and Romney want to keep the TEABAGGERS on their side. Watch whats happens to the teabaggers during the next elections. Bachmann still wants her perks from the government and SC**W THE MIDDLE CLASE Wonder iif her husbands clenic can help her?

    August 1, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. brobin

    Sure wouldn't want to touch the rich or the military (ie... corporate welfare). Any serious attack on the debt and deficient that doesn't include military spending and some tax measures is just going to destroy what is left of the middle class. Republican politics are not based on faith and ideology. They don't believe in economics or evidence. Any party that requires its leaders to proclaim evolution to be false can't be trusted to deal with real issues.

    August 1, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. Ron

    Romney, the one with the moderate history is doing nothing less than pandering to the right-wing. Easy thing to do at this stage when you're not actually responsible for finding a solution. Huntsman is the only candidate, to date, that isn't pandering. As far as Bachman goes: the Republican first accused Obama of not being involved, then when he became involved, they walked out on him and said Congress would solve it. When Congress couldn't do it, they criticized Obama again. But went back to him. Now whatever happens, it will, of course be Obama's fault.

    August 1, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Ron

    Bachman says this isn't the plan Americans want. She's right. The overwhelming majority want cut in spending AND increase in revenue: translated–let the rich pay as much as they did when the economy was booming during Eisenhower's time and Clinton's time.

    August 1, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Embarrased Conservative

    @Andrew – Amen to that.

    August 1, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. jack johnson

    Sounds like Bachmann,and Romney just want to keep the TEABAGGERS on their side by blowing hot air. She wants to keep her perks from the government, and Sc**w the middle class. I wonder if her husbands clenic could possably help her get her head on straight? She better be watching what happens in the next election. Then watch her start back stroking

    August 1, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Scott

    Thanks for sharing, Romney. Your contribution to solving this problem was zilch; your Monday-morning quarterbacking means zilch. You are a coward and a loser.

    August 1, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Jarks

    of course they don't quote the only person who understands government and economics, Ron Paul.
    " The truth is that frightening rhetoric about default and full faith in the credit of the United States being carelessly thrown around to ram through a bigger budget than ever in spite of stagnant revenues. If your family’s income did not change year over year, would it be wise financial management to accelerate spending so you would feel richer? That is what our government is doing, with one side merely suggesting a different list of purchases than the other."- Ron Paul

    August 1, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. Jim in San Mateo

    These Republican idiots are going for find themselves out on their collective ears for running the credit of the US with their political grandstanding. This January, the US bond rating is most likely going to be cut and all of us will be paying for it.

    August 1, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Marcus

    An an Independent......+1 for Huntsman. The silent majority wants someone focused on spending cuts, but not blind to some necessary changes in our tax structure.

    August 1, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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