GOP candidates slam Obama after downgrade
August 6th, 2011
09:06 AM ET
7 years ago

GOP candidates slam Obama after downgrade

Washington (CNN) – Republican presidential candidates issued harsh criticism of President Barack Obama Friday after the credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s announced it was downgrading America’s long-term debt status.

“America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama’s failed record of leadership on the economy,” Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said in a statement. “Standard & Poor’s rating downgrade is a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama. His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating.”

The Obama administration cites a calculation error by Standard and Poor’s for the downgrade, saying the firm was off by $2 trillion dollars in their calculation of America’s debt. The agency says that it based its downgrade partially on the country’s charged political climate.

Rep. Michele Bachmann echoed Romney in her statement, saying the downgrade reflects the president’s “failed economic policies.”

“This president has destroyed the credit rating of the United States,” Bachmann said.

Bachmann continued, “I call on the president to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and to submit a plan with a list of cuts to balance the budget this year, turn our economy around and put Americans back to work."

Former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said the downgrade was a sign that Washington needed new leadership.

“We need new leadership in Washington committed to fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, and job-friendly policies to get America working again,” Huntsman said.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum slammed the Obama administration for not taking more responsibility for America’s economic woes.

“I understand the U.S. Treasury is going back to Standard and Poor’s to say that a two trillion dollar mathematical error by S&P contributed to the downgrade,” Santorum said in a statement. “So, in addition to blaming President Bush for all of its problems, now the White House is blaming S&P – but this happened on the President's watch – and he has to deal with it.”

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Jon Huntsman • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Rick Santorum
soundoff (475 Responses)
  1. greg

    Quick to lay blame...not so quick to get into the mess and help broker a solution good for the country. Real leadership. The kind where the seargent says charge pointing north while he runs tail to the south.

    sadly, the GOP wants to ruin the economy. Anything to get power. And even some of their most rabid followers are beginning to get that. The GOP got the House because the Democrats focused on health care instead of jobs and because many of us were not comfortable with the stimulus, how it was handled. Democrats got to power before that because many where unhappy with Bush's wars and the economic collapse that occurred despite his budget-busting tax cuts.

    If the Democrats ride back to power, or if the public mood switches and goes for the GOP, I can only hope that those in power realize the true mandate is to find common ground and do what's best for the country as a whole.

    August 6, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. MSfromCA

    Top debt increases since WW II as a percentage of GDP were Bush 1, Bush 2, and Reagan. Cutting taxes without cutting spending got us here. The debt was already high when the recession hit. Raising taxes and cutting spending during a recession is not great, but neither is borrowing 40 cents for every dollar we spend. We need to raise taxes a bit where we can and cut spending where we can. Period. The Tea Party is Libertarians under a new name and don't represent most Americans.

    August 6, 2011 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. Ellobern

    The GOP makes me sick. They think they can deflect blame from themselves by slamming Presidentt Obama.

    August 6, 2011 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. StatsSayIt

    Look at the numbers here, folks. By a margin of about 7-to-1 on this blog the GOP is taking the blame for the mess and the downgrade. That says it all right there. The Republicans can scream and point all they want, but the American people know who owns this and it surely isn't President Obama.

    August 6, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Danny Spencer

    NC – I will see you at the Voting Polls, laughing at your ass all the way – And as a Washington insider i can Tell you, YOU ARE WRONG!

    August 6, 2011 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    P.S. The S&P downgrade was done because they said the debt ceiling needed to be higher as President Obama and Democrats wanted, but no the GOP/Tea Baggers refused. Bachmann and Romney need to get their lies straight.

    August 6, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Discernment


    (1.) Even with this Tea Party self-generated crisis, Republican GOP candidates cannot resist politicizing the disaster for which their Party created. Raising the debt ceiling did not have to be combined with Congressional budget balance matters. This was the Tea Party's very own creation.

    (2.) – Standard & Poor clearly stated that the problem was the political fighting in Congress, and primarily the Tea Party's insistence that tax revenue not be included in a debt ceiling deal. But the Republican GOP candidates are too cowardice to acknowledge Tea Party's role in this economic catastrophe.

    August 6, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. SoberUp

    Root and stem – you are evidently smoking the leaves because your grasp of reality is nearly non-existent.

    August 6, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Jack

    Obama offered a 4 trillion debt reduction package. It was rejected because the GOP, being held hostage by the Tea Party, could not accept any revenue increases. Simple.

    August 6, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. john

    Only Conservatives and the Tea party members in the House of Representatives and the senate had the right solutions for America's Debt problem. House of representatives and the senate under democrat party control have not passed a budget for last 3yrs. The President and the democrats in both houses of congress never put forth a plan on paper to solve America's 14.4T dollar debt. The President Obama spent 5T dollars in 3yrs. He needs more than 2.4 T dollars in taxes from 50% of american tax payers to spend and giveaways to his intrest groups. President and the democrats often claim the Good times during president clinton. During his time the revenues to the Government was only between 1.3T to 1.6T dollars, unemployment rate of 5.6% (low end) and the taxes were higher than current rate. During President Bush's government, the revenues to the Government increased to 2.6T dollars and unemployment lowered as much as to 4.6% because of Bush Tax cuts for everyone. The Ruling elites in both major parties use fuzzy math to decieve americans abt debt problems. These people use baseline budgeting, a 10 yr budgeting, double counting to manupulate the budget and spending reduction. Every year budget increases 8% from the previous year without any regard or accountability. There are lot of waste, fraud, duplication of programs and agencies in the federal government budget. Why do the federal government need more that 2.8T dollars in revenue? If the have more revenue (higher taxes) they will spend more. President always calls for fair sharing or equal sacrifices from those 50% of american tax payers who do pay taxes to pay more of their share. I have an idea what if all the tax payers pay a same lower rate (lets just say 10%, same as a tithe); a higher sales tax on luxury items and a balance budget. I believe this way no politicians (except leftist) can use class warfare or envy on fellow americans. Let the individual take his/ her responsibity from equal opportunity through freedom rather than from equal outcome from tyranny. Rep. Paul Ryan Budget or Cut Cap and Balance would not cut anything drastically as the democrats claim because their budgets also assume 8% increases from previous year budget and it would not balance budget for a while either. They are trying to reduce the increase in growth of budget and promote a pro-job growth agenda through free market concepts. They understood that solution for america's problem is only through a growing economy. Less Taxes= More private sector jobs= more taxpayers= more (increased) revenues to the government= pays for constitutional budgets. Higher Taxes= More Public Sector Jobs (Less Private secor Jobs)=Less taxpayers=less revenues the govt=NOT enough to pay the budget= High deficit= High Debt= Cut Budgets=Misery =Obama Economic Policies. Let us elect fiscally reasonable Democrats and Tea party Republicans to the congress and a conservative President (D or R). God Bless.
    P.S : My prayers and thoughts to the families of Fallen Seal Team in Afganistan and also all the men and women who are serving our country. I honor the dedication and sacrifice of our Fall Heroes. I am proud to be an American because of these heroes.

    August 6, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Mike

    The GOP and the Tea party are the ones who made the debt a nonnegotiable issue and triggered global instability in the markets. The GOP are the ones who are protecting the wealthy and corporations from having to pay for the AMERICAN infrastructure, financial, and social institutions they disproportionately use. Apparently they think a feudal system is a better form of government, with rich lords in big glass towers throwing the peasants bread crumbs, and then taxing them into oblivion. They made the debt ceiling an issue, and caused the already shaky markets to become wary of our political resolve. The S&P decision was a purely political decision, not based on numbers, but on the state of politics in Washington. However, this is all a moot point, as the real focus of Washington should be JOB CREATION. Let me break it down for them, more jobs = more tax paying citizens = more taxable revenue = less debt.

    August 6, 2011 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  12. L Rivera

    Too... much... spending...

    August 6, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Jack in Florida

    The finger, and you can pick which one you want to use, should be pointed right at the republican, party of NO. They should be ashamed of themselves for not working more for the people of this country instead of those hostage takers called the Teaparty. It is disgusting what they have done to this government and their protection of the wealthiest of Americans by keeping their tax breaks when this country is going down the tube. Shame, shame on the republican party of NO.

    August 6, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. edpeters101

    Bachmann wants to run the USA like a "household", good luck with that! Santorum: if the shoe fits! Remember all the "toxic" paper that was being sold by lending banks? That paper was graded by Standard and Poor's (I think there is a very good reason they have "POOR's" as part of their name). And, the amount of debt was not the reason for the downgrade, it was due to a congress that isn't functional (i.e. GOP holding the debt limit hostage, tks BoneHead)...

    August 6, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. maria

    The Republicans and tea bag degenerates should be charged with treason. What they are trying to do is destroy this country by hurting the real average American people, not the wealthy they have sold their souls to.

    August 6, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  16. Kevin

    I really feel sorry for anyone who buys into this crap. If you would do some independent reading, taking all sides into account, there is no question what has happened and what it's been caused by. Anyone with at least a 4th grade education can figure it out. Placing blame does NOTHING to fix this problem. There is only one solution to the economic troubles of the US, and that is jobs. Notice, sadly, no one is doing anything about that. If the morons, on both sides, were actually employed in a real job, they would have all been fired a long time ago.

    A perfect example that "trickle down" creates jobs, is a lie. HSBC bank just announced an $11,000,000,000.00 half year (that's right, six months, $11 Billion) profit. The same day they announce they are laying off 5000 people. Explain that some other way than greed, I dare you.

    August 6, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Tom

    Gotta love "don't raise the debt ceiling" Michelle here. First it's don't raise it, then, when America's credit gets downgraded because of how long it took to raise the debt ceiling, it's obviously Obama's fault. Dear Michelle, since you didn't vote for it, then that obviously makes it your fault.

    August 6, 2011 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    Jesus Christ was a socialist - he believed in the wealthy giving to help the poor. WOW!!

    August 6, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. FourMoreYears

    Four and The Door – You realize, don't you, that you're subscribing to a revisionist view of history?

    August 6, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  20. DrPete

    I wonder if the fake corporations Romney's supporters created and disbanded after giving huge contributions to his campaign counted in the unemployment numbers.

    August 6, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Karma

    The GOP presidential candidates are a joke. they have belittled themselves by finger pointing. Fox news was always toying with the a political agenda that downgrading US credit is a political ploy by Obama , only if they had realized how serious this downgrading can become. Palin and bachman are absolutely unbearable to listen to, their comments are absolutely worthless. Romney was the guy till yesterday when he blamed Obama. He turned out to be floating in the same boat as the other "routine and "ranting" republicans without any substance.

    August 6, 2011 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Mike kerns

    The Republican party should be charged with treason they have ran our debt up under bush and a Republican Congress handed off the worst economy in a lifetime and have done nothing but cause trouble ever since.

    August 6, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. dew

    the dems. are putting the blame on everyone, look obama the so call pres. hes to blame for this, the dems put someone in office that never own a bussiness or ran a bussiness, and they think we all should follow him like a little puppy, obama be a man and start putting the blame on whos in charge, and that post to be you. who are you going to blame next god.everything you try don't work dont hat tell you something, you are not a pres. all you do is take the taxpayers money to pay for your campaign .and when you run out of money you make up storys to get more. worst so call pres. ever

    August 6, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Ambassador Huntsman, we've had new leadership in Washington since November. And almost nobody, including you, really believes the good credit of the United States would have been downgraded if the debt ceiling had been dealt with in a normal manner and Congress had passed a bill that where more modest (and less job-killing) spending cuts had been balanced with revenue increases, as Congress has done every time we've been in this situation before, including the Reagan administration. The problem is our "new" leadership (and all of your opponents who are crowing like their team just won the Superbowl over this trainwreck) has signed an oath that either supersedes their oath of office or promises to if elected.

    August 6, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. RIALgal

    Republicans are getting desperate. They know exactly where the blame belongs and are trying their best to convince the American public that they had nothing to do with it. We're a whole lot smarter than that. The thinking public knows exactly who to blame and it isn't Obama.

    August 6, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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