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. Ryan in Michigan

    The most troubling part is how much Standard & Poor's move is politically motivated. They admitted to a $2,000,000,000 mistake in their calculations, one in America's favor, but stuck by the change in their rating. They say that not enought was done to cut spending and balance the budget. In essence, both sides were wrong. The Democrats should've allowed spending cuts into Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, while the Republicans, in concession, should've allowed tax cuts to expire. Had this true compromise been reached, we might still have our rating (we still do from the other two international credit rating agencies, but Standard & Poor's is still the leader.), but if it's all political, we might not.

    August 6, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. jb

    Give me a break! It is the Rebublicans fault! And Bachmann, you are horribly disfunctional.

    August 6, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Dennis

    The year Bush left office, the deficit was $164 billion. In just over 2 years this liberal president and congress have exploded the deficit by $4,500 billion. Not one of the members of this administration's cabinet is from the private sector and this is the result. No wonder business won't hire employees and invest its capital. 2012 can't come fast enough in order to kick these governemnt hacks out of office and get someone in charge who understands business and the private sector. Hope and change is once again in the air.

    August 6, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. dee

    What a Complete Utter JOKE???? Teaparty is gone in 2012,S&P??? You can "Count on Americans to "Rid our country of this "Disease" in 2012!!! Our rating will go back to Normal, when this Congress is Gone? We Americans are "Embarrassed" at this "Circus of the Teaparty, and Gop in general!!!! These Nut baggers are coming back in Sept. More Destruction ahead!! Go get them, Obama!!! 2012

    August 6, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Ryan in Michigan

    Personally, with the money we save should the above ever take effect, I think we ought to try and buy back as much of our debt as we can from China before any other foreign-held debt.

    August 6, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    There are three groups to balme for this:
    1. The Tea Party for forcing the Bonhner out of good faith negotiation.
    2. The GOP for letting this monster they created try to kill the economy
    3. Anyone who agrees with the first two and did not bother to vote in the last election.
    All that is needed for evil to win is for decent folks to do nothing. Don't be one of them in the next election.

    August 6, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Dave G

    Unfortunately the GOP only needs to look in the mirror to find 1/2 of the problem in Washington.

    August 6, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Phattee

    Remember the "Grand Bargain" that Boehner walked away from? It would have saved the $3.5 to 4 trillion that S&P wanted to see **AND** it would've included cuts to many of the entitlements despised by Republicans **AND** they would only have had to put in 1 dollar in revenue for every 3 dollars in cuts.

    But the Tea Party said no. The Tea Party is the problem. None of this would be happening if not for the damn Tea Party.

    August 6, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Mike

    How these people can blame Obama when they are wholly responsible for the downgrade is beyond me.

    All that the Republican's in congress had to do was let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans expire and we would have avoided this thing altogether. Not to mention there are countless other areas to increase revenue.

    Instead, they sign a pledge with some non-elected crony (Norquist) that they will not raise any taxes – meaning that they signed a pledge to not increase federal revenue and when our credit is downgraded because of a lack of revenue to couple the savings they blame Obama.


    August 6, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. BILL, WI

    It has been common knowledge since March of this year that S&P and Moodys were considering a downgrading the U.S. AAA rating. It has been common knowldege since March and April timeframe what was needed to prevent it. In spite of the debt ceiling debate turning into a dog and pony show fiasco, spending had to be reduced per the credit rating agencies. When our federal debt to GDP is 100% politicians should start working to solve a more serious problem, rather than playing games and mouthing scare tactics to rally the base. Republicans have been calling for tax reform, without an increase in the tax rate, and to reduce spending. The Democrats say we should wait until the end of 2013 to start work on the problem. The time to save Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security starts now.

    August 6, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Martha in CF

    Bachmann should not even comment on this.... She and her tea party wanted the whole debt deal to tank. What do you think our rating would be then? FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF with all three organizations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. KathyC in Minnesota

    How NIAVE of all the GOP Presidential candidates!!

    How little do they know that their BELOVED Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush began this spiral downward in America's financial mess with the theory of TRICKLE DOWN Economics. That TAX CUTS and DEREGULATION would grow the Economy!! History has a cruel way of showing that the OPPOSITE is true.

    All Bachmann, Pawlenty, Romney, and others can say, "IT'S ALL OBAMA'S FAULT." While they present NO PLANS of their own but complaints. THEY who have benifitted from the Economic downturns and handouts(Bachmann).

    How quickly these GOP idiots forget that 2 Tax Cuts, 2 wars, Medicare Part D, Tax Rebate Chesks in 2007, TARP, added significantly to the NAtional Debt during the last 10 years that the US will not be able to recover. ALL was unpaid for!!! Where were their complaints then???

    August 6, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Me

    Ridiculous. The President can only sign or veto what gets to his desk. It's the lazy, ineffectice members of Congress, primarily the GOP, that caused the delay in raising the debt ceiling. It's all part of the Republicans plan to try and assure that Obama is a one-termer.

    August 6, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. GI Joe

    Newly appointed head of S&P, Peter de Boer, comes from J.P. Morgan. FOLLOW THE MONEY (and the political connections regarding financial deals with republicans).

    August 6, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Mark

    If you read the comments by S&P, they clearly lay the blame on Congress for brinksmanship, and they clearly indicate that revenue growth, ie letting the tax cuts expire, would have saved our credit rating. Its right there on video. The republicans and tea party are clearly the cause of this loss according to S&P. These candidates are deaf, blind and dumb.

    August 6, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. Barbara Haecker

    Where Obama went wrong is not insisting on tax revenues from the rich up front.

    August 6, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. BD70

    I wish these idiots would just shut up. Not one mention of the tea party reps..they are .no better than who they are saying is blaming everyone but themselves. Easy to stand at the side and say Obama is ruining the country...I can just imagine if one of these candidates were president....

    August 6, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Four and The Door

    This is just the start. The debt is continuing to get higher. The only thing that makes sense in Washington anymore is Paul Ryan's Path to Prosperity federal government financial plan passed by the House this year. For starters, it cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. It brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion.

    The Administration and The Senate have no plan. Standard and Poors knows that. American voters know that. Is it 2012 yet? We need a plan. Desperately.

    August 6, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  19. Peter s

    Is this kind of a joke? it's just laughable and pathetic even the worst Obamas' hater can see through the veil of ignorance! was it last week the Republican right wing economic saboteurs had hold the Government at ransom? I CAN SMELL DESPARATION IN THE AIR!!!

    August 6, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Republicans destroy our credit rating, then blame the president. They love to blame others for their terrorist actions. They are working arm in arm with Al Qaeda to destroy the economic system here in America.

    August 6, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. crooked bridge

    When your response becomes predictable, you are doing something wrong, and defintely not generating any value by speaking. These guys are like barking dogs, no one wants to hear them and all they make you want to do is yell, shut up.

    August 6, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. StephensB

    There is something going on here ..... and it has nothing to do with the Obama administration , the Tea Party , or any of that BS in DC . This is beginning to smell like some kind of behind the scenes global scheme by the international finance institutions to make somebody a whole bunch of money . I have never been one to buy into all this global conspiracy stuff ... bilderburgers , imf , etc ..... but one starts to wonder ?????? Somebody is going to come out of this with a ton of wealth much to the detriment of all of us , right , left , top , bottom , middle . I think it has gone beyond just local , regional , national politics and become just an apolitical grab at more power and wealth for ..... somebody ?????? To what end ????? Hmmmm .
    Spend ourselves into oblivion , starve ourselves into oblivion , right wing Tea Partyer's , left wing socialists , bla bla bla , this aint' about the politics anymore ......... it is about $$$$$ and who is going to end up with it .
    Any one remember .... " Follow The Money " ???????????

    August 6, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Debbie from Arizona

    These Republicans make me ill, especially Bachmann. She voted no on raising the debt ceiling. She voted to let our country default on its bills. What do you suppose our credit rating would have been if that had happened.

    August 6, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Avenger

    THANKS TEA BAGGERS, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW? if you had not hyjack the republican party then they would have compromise and come to an agreement like democrats and republican use to in the past. YOU PEOPLE ARE UNAMERICAN!! you do not care about your own people , you are puppets, ask yourselfs who is paying for your rallys ,your bus tours ? President Obama weakens is this, he care about the people of this country too much.

    August 6, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Alexander Hamilton


    Oh wait ~ the feds don't have one.
    Tough luck Mitt.

    August 6, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
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