2012 contenders point to President Obama for 'super' fail
November 21st, 2011
04:05 PM ET
6 years ago

2012 contenders point to President Obama for 'super' fail

(CNN) – As federal government braces for the impact of a super committee failure, GOP contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination lashed out at the president for setting the wheels in motion.

A Web video released by Newt Gingrich's campaign Monday replayed the former House Speaker's prediction this summer that the committee responsible for finding $1.2 trillion in budget savings was doomed.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

"I think this super committee is about as dumb an idea as Washington has come up with in my lifetime," Gingrich said during a debate of Republican candidates in August.

"I used to run the House of Representatives, I have some general notion of these things," he continued.

"The idea that…12 of these brilliant people, mostly picked for political reasons are gonna sit in some room and brilliantly come up with a trillion dollars or force us to choose between gutting our military and accepting a tax increase is irrational," Gingrich argued.

Recommending that Congress "scrap the committee" and assign the task of finding savings to "every subcommittee," Gingrich said the task of cutting the deficit should be done "out in the open through regular legislative order and get rid of this secret, phony business" at the debate.

Three months later, the Web spot boasts, "Newt was right."

Members of the super committee are expected to announce Monday that the bipartisan group was unable to broker a deal in time to meet the deadline, set for Wednesday. In the event that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction does not reach a deal to cut spending by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years by Wednesday, spending cuts targeted for defense and other government agencies are triggered as a result of the agreement made between the president and House Speaker John Boehner during the summer. Congress will also vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment if the super committee fails, according to the deal between the president and Speaker Boehner.

Sunday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney put the blame on Obama during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

"They're predicting that the super committee that was designed to try and find a way to cut spending and balance our budget, to find over a trillion dollars of spending over the next 10 years, that that committee looks like its headed for failure," he said, claiming that "some of the Democrats" said the president did nothing to help the committee along.

"He (President Obama) hasn't had any role, he's done nothing. It's another example of failed leadership," Romney charged.

"He has not taken personal responsibility to get this super committee to find ways to balance our budget and cut spending."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also faulted Obama for the committee’s expected failure.

"The whole reason a supercommittee was created was because the president wasn't willing to lead, wasn't willing to even put on paper his plans for cutting spending," Perry said in a statement Monday. "It's amazing to what lengths he will go to avoid making tough decisions."

Perry called on the president and Congress to work through the holidays until they reach a deal that would spare any cuts to the military.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul weighed in, as well, on the super committee's goal, calling the $1.2 trillion a "laughable" amount.

"In fact the Committee merely needs to cut about $120 billion annually from the federal budget over the next 10 years to meet its modest goals, but even this paltry amount has produced hand-wringing and hysteria on Capitol Hill," Paul said in a statement. "This is only cutting proposed increases. It has nothing to do with actually cutting anything. This shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems."

Instead, Paul argued that Congress should adopt the 2004 budget of $2.3 trillion next year.

"That's all it would take to produce a balanced budget right now," Paul said.

Filed under: 2012 • Deficit commission • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. chuck weidemann

    Newt and Romney are part of the problem!! Why don't they use their great influence to lead their party members to compromise?? After all they want to lead what's the delay? Everyone knows our government only works when we find a middle ground. Obama is not a King!! Even if these opposition leaders think he was born in Africa!! If elected Newt or Romney won't be King either!! They will have same problems so lead your party and make things work now!!

    November 21, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Given it was a CONGRESSIONAL committee, Obama's involvement would have been seen as political medaling. I don't think that there was much that he could have done other than write the plan himself and say do this. It is Congress that eventually writes the budget and gets it to the president's desk for approval.

    November 21, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. carrotroot

    For me this next election boils down to one issue ... tax the rich. The Super Committee failed because of the Republicans uncompromising stubbornness to raise taxes on the rich. The only way to resolve this mess is through political change at the voting booth. The Republicans will be history in 2012.

    November 21, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. SiriusVH

    I guess, GOPsters are afraid that they are going to have to bear most of the blame for that failure. So, as a preemptive move against such justified accusations, they blame Obama. That's called 'leadership' in GOP circles. Blame your opponent for your own failures.

    November 21, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Nash

    Nice try. When Romney is president we will blame him for the failures of congress. Maybe we should start teaching some people about the branches or divisions of government (Executive, Legislative & judiciary). Congress legislates. The President is in the Executive division of government and does not legislate. Mr. 20% Romney will say anything including lying to win. More power to you. We will hold you accountable even to the lies you are telling now. But before all that Romney who is already playing the role of the presumptive nominee, must know there is a little tiny thing called an election standing in the way.

    November 21, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:
    Let the cutting begin.
    Thank-you epitomizing the liberal-held view that conservatives do not want the supercommittee to reach a compromise.

    November 21, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  7. vet in texas

    Now the GOP is scrambling because the automatic defense cuts (only 55 billion a year) mean that their donating private contractors don't get paid, hence the reasons for the deal. Now they are caught in the middle between Norquist and their other donors. This will get interesting.

    November 21, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  8. Joi Gibson

    Am I missing something? Why is it every time Congress epically fails to do its job, it is somehow the President's fault. Must he hold their hands. Why doesn't he just write the bills and then sign them. But of course, anything to put the blame on the President. It would be nice if those in Congress – especially Republicans – took responsibility for the mess they created by trying to help solve it. They did not mind deficit spending before, but now, all of sudden it's a problem. Republicans have no shame. And as a Democrat, I am sick of Democrats whining about the President as well. Grow a pair. Must he lead you all by the hand too. No wonder the man is gray. But by gosh, I will stick with President Obama any day.
    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    P.S. Did you hear about those heathens booing the First Lady and Dr. Biden. How incredibly rude – especially with children standing there.

    November 21, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Really? REALLY????

    When one of these yahoos actually wins the general election in 2012 is when they can declare President Obama a failed president. Until then ... they're hot air and blowing smoke.

    November 21, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Guy Salander

    Congress will not ever be able to work united together, greed seems to be always in the way. Republicans seem to think they have all the answers, you may want to realize the reason you got elected to begin with is your greed for yourselves. The Rich and wealthy most of them would be glad to assist in troubled times. But the impact that it will have on your pockets is the true story. (Greed)

    November 21, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Keith in Austin wrote:

    Whatever happened to Obama's promise of TRANSPARENCY? ALl the American people are hearing from the Super Committee is; he-said she-said" mostly from the liberal media resulting in reports that the committee failed due to the GOP's position on tax increases.
    Meanwhile, conservative media, led by Fox News, continues to promote the notion that Democrats want the supercommittee to fail because they have failed to understand that the only way to reduce the national debt and annual deficit is through deep spending cuts. They continue to emphasize that Democrats have produced a deep spending cut plan of their own.

    November 21, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  12. DAK

    It is NOT the President's job to introduce bills, write bills or to pass bills. Congress does all of that and then, AFTER Congress does something, the President wither signs the bill or vetos the bill. So, the failure in this case is all on Congress. Vote them ALL OUT in 2012 and every year after until we get a Congress that actually works. Talk about freeloaders on the tax-payer's dime! I blame Congress 110% and the GOP / TEA Party 150% for this mess.

    November 21, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. independent

    The collapsed economy was brought about by tax cut and spend Republicans. The inability of the economy to generate enough jobs to get the economy moving, at a time of record corporate profits, record corporate cash on hand, and failure of 3/4 of America's corporations to pay any tax, is a result of the tax policy impasse in Congress.
    I blame the GOTParty for that impasse.
    You can blame whomever you want.

    November 21, 2011 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  14. Guy Salander

    One last comment, If speaker Bainer has all this so called answers and attitude why is he not running for President.

    November 21, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. independent

    Does Gingrich's latest comment about the economic struggling poor Americans to bathe and get a job sound to you like someone who has 'found' Jesus through his recent Catholic conversion? Does he sound like the Good Samaritan to you?

    November 21, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  16. stevie

    Wehn we have a president who has no record of accomplishment to run on, and whose only campaign platform is to raise taxes and blame eveyone else for his failure to lead, yes, the so called president has failed miserably.

    November 21, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  17. Pedro

    The Republican controlled Congress failed to reach a compromise to help balance the budget because Republicans refuse to consider any new taxes. Even if those "new" taxes are simply letting the temporary tax cuts for the rich expire that were supposed to expire two years ago. And yet this is Obama's fault. Welcome to the GOP's alternate universe. One where complete idiots can say whatever they like. And have it go unchallenged thanks to the PR machine, aka Fox News.

    November 21, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Keith in Austin claims:
    The FACTs are that Republicans offered major overhauls in the IRS tax code eliminating write-offs and loop holes enjoyed by the so-called 1 percent that would have driven Billions in additional revenue!
    Do you really expect us to believe that people who signed a "no new taxes" pledge would actually propose "billions in additional revenue" without it being condemned by the man for whom the pledge is named? It is unfortunate that most conservatives voters are stupid enough to buy into such arguments.

    The TRUTH is that the definition of "new" being used is misleading the people. People here the word "new" and think it means something different, in addition to what already exists. Actually, the term is used to describe something that replaces that which already exists.

    In other words, the "net revenue" under the proposals is less than what we have today. Guess which taxpayer demographic will see the most reductions in what they pay.

    November 21, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Sam

    All the more reason to vote for Herman Cain. We need new ideas and leadership to get us out of this mess.

    November 21, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. dave

    Newt and Mit what a couple of great minds, lol! ""I used to run the House of Representatives, I have some general notion of these things," he continued. " Wasn't he run out of there by his own party?!!! Why would you believe anything either one says?

    November 21, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. a in austin

    Hey, party of no – instead of doing Grover's dirty work, why not let him run for office and do his own dirty work. I cannot believe how one man who is never on the ballot has so much political power. I'd love to know who funds his company? What is the party of no so afraid of? Losing the next election?

    November 21, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Cody

    The Democrats agreed to large cuts in all social programs. The Republicans agreed to closing a tax loophole, ONLY IF the taxes were lowered on the highest 1%. The democrats argued that this math would actually lose revenue. The Republicans just snickered. The Democrats had already agreed to renew the Bush era tax cuts... because the lowest taxes in history so far are totally helping out our budget. Obama's fault, taxes too high!

    November 21, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Larry L

    It's math. It takes both reduction in entitlement benefits and an increase in tax revenues. The Republican "pledges" make them useless in that they can only demand sacrifice from the poor and middle class. If the wealthy paid a little more they would sacrifice nothing but they would protect their ability to continue a high-level lifestyle. If the poor lose entitlement benefits, like Social Security or Medicare, they will sacrifice medicine for food or rent. It's math and the Republicans are working toward failure to improve their re-election chances. That's really slimey...

    November 21, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. tykl

    Two most important issues of Obama's presidency:
    1. Health care
    2. Economy
    He hasn't even voted present, he's punted on both. Some say it's Congress's job – if so, then we don't need a president. No leadership and no results.If he had any idea of how to make a plan, he would have pushed his own.

    November 21, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Rebecca

    Every single one of you that is assigning blame to the other side is part of the problem. Congress is at fault, yes, but so are we for doing exactly the same thing. If you want compromise, we need to be willing to do it, too.

    November 21, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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