House Republicans launch their own PR offensive on fiscal cliff
November 27th, 2012
03:39 PM ET
2 years ago

House Republicans launch their own PR offensive on fiscal cliff

Washington (CNN) - As President Obama kicks off a series of events and meetings this week to pressure Congressional Republicans to reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, top House GOP leaders are planning their own public campaign to frame Democrats as the ones who are unwilling to budge.

House Speaker John Boehner's office announced Tuesday that leaders and rank and file Republicans will roll out a series of events in Washington and in their districts across the country with small business owners to frame Democrats demands to oppose upper income tax cuts as a threat to new jobs.

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Although GOP aides stress the outreach was in the works before details of the President's campaign-style efforts were outlined, they aren't hiding the fact that they don't appreciate the White House effort to try to box them in on taxes.

The top Senate Republican slammed the President's decision to travel to Pennsylvania for a public event on the fiscal cliff on Friday.

"Rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement he is back on the campaign trail presumably with the same old talking points that we are all quite familiar with," Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.

The post-election tone of compromise that leaders from both parties stressed as they predicted a compromise was close at hand appeared to fade as McConnell questioned whether the President was capable of working across the aisle.

"We already know the president is a very good campaigner. We congratulate him on his re-election. What we don't know is whether he has the leadership qualities necessary to lead his party to a bipartisan agreement on big issues like we currently face."

Boehner's spokesman suggested the President's focus was misplaced.

"The target of the president's rallies should be the congressional Democrats who want to raise tax rates on small businesses rather than cut spending," said Michael Steel in a written statement

House leaders from both parties are meeting separately on Wednesday with several CEOs involved in the "Fix the Debt" coalition that is pushing for a deal to avoid the year end fiscal cliff. House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy announced that GOP leaders will meet with small business owners next week in his office.

While President Obama continues to argue that allowing the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans to expire should be part of a deal, GOP leadership aides are preparing talking points and events with local businesses to hammer home their argument that tax rate increases will cost more jobs.

Republicans on Capitol Hill also complained that the major focus on the negotiations was on how willing GOP members were willing to give in on taxes while Democrats continued to dig in on opposing any major structural changes to entitlement programs. They maintain their offer to give some on revenue should be met with some flexibility on changes to Medicare and Social Security.

This was one message GOP leaders planned to deliver to the CEOs attending Wednesday's meeting on Capitol Hill.

One senior GOP aide summarized the appeal from GOP members to business leaders, "when you guys are pushing a balanced approach don't forget about spending. Let's not keep this whole entire conversation centered on tax rates."


Filed under: 2012 • House Republicans • John Boehner
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Judi Powell

    Repubs will continue to make the poor and elderly pay for THEIR mistakes.
    You don't see ANY Congressman, Governor, lobbyist, or anyone really involved in government FREELY OFFER TO TAKE A CUT IN THEIR PAY OR BENEFITS. Austerity for YOU........the good life for ME.

    AND WE DIDN'T CAUSE THIS........the Repubs have done this for decades....

    November 27, 2012 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Dean

    Just cut spending.

    November 27, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    The gop that stands for no increase of taxes for the upper 5% has no credibility on any issue . The American voters already rejected the gop agenda or have you been in a coma .right now the American voter is getting ready to reject your no taxes on the rich hogwash in 2014 and 2016 , again!!!!!!

    November 27, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    There they go again. Reminds me of the Keystone Cops. Which Republi8can was it who said it last week, "We don't need better PR people, we need a better message." Gov. Jindal, I think it was.

    November 27, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    Are these thugs of GOP making entire this nation believe their BS????? Idiots. They better budge to American Middle Class and comply. Nasty idiots of GOP thugs–watch out.

    November 27, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  6. plain&simple

    You lost,your position on this issue failed. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over.....your doing it again!!!! Hello is there anybody in there?

    November 27, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. Working for the Rich

    From the Times: "The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording."

    So why the big concern that raising taxes for the rich (less than 7 million Americans earn over $250,000) will hurt your chances of getting or keeping your job? Because that is using fear to support their efforts. Less money for the rich means less money for politicians.

    November 27, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. maf

    . . . and Republican whining continues. . .
    When the GOP gets serious about any or even ONE concession with regard to Revenue, maybe the CIC will get down to business. House Republicans have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and provide some concrete areas of compromise that will pave the way for a bi-partisan arrangement! Instead of continually carping on the President, how about stopping the Romney game of wait and see!! It is time to put your cards on the table!!!

    November 27, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They have every right to get their message out as well. At least this time around they appear to want to take a more, shall we say, participatory role in stark contrast to their stance of the last four years. We all saw how well that worked for their Party image.
    I hope they do not choose to adopt the Romney ad campaigns with the robo-calls, and lies as we all know how that worked out for Mittens.

    November 27, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. freedom

    OTO – On The Offensive – that should be the mantra for the GOP from here on. The Democrats manufacture crises, manipulate and distort the truth to not only convince others they think they're right, but to destroy and defame their opposition, with crassness and obnoxiousness. They also do not appear to have accountability in their DNA. No more defensiveness. The GOP has sound ideals and principles that they stand for, and many have fought and died for them. Enough of this bullying from the mindless masses. You will not silence truth, and obstruct the quest for those who are working for what is great about this nation.

    November 27, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Natalie

    And the GOP, in spite of their dismal failings, continue to use scare tactics to keep our country from moving forward. Please people, see through these shanagins! The GOP is becoming obsolete; we aren't going down with them.

    November 27, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Canuck

    The elephant in the room is the fact that the United States spends a grotesque amount of money on defence, that it could be using elewhere. The second world war ended almost 70 years ago, why do you need thousands of troops in Germany still??? Time to say no the Military Industrial complex – over spending on military has brought down empires throughout history, just sayin'

    November 27, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. BJJSchecter

    So much for compromise and working together.

    November 27, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    This is patently absurd. Boehner came right out of the box after the election insisting that the GOP would not raise tax RATES but would only rely on exactly what Mittens campaigned on: lowering rates, dumping some loopholes and deductions and relying on the magic economic growth that would create to increase revenue. MIttens ran on that very thing and LOST HORRIBLY. The GOP/Teatrolls, McConnell, Boehner...all of them...are still in denial and are frustrated with the FACTS that they have no leverage and are not bargaining from any position of strength. The rhetoric from McConnell and the rest is solely an attempt to generate leverage by fabricating a perception that Obama is unwilling to compromise. OBAMA RAN ON A POSITION THAT WAS ALREADY A COMPROMISE AND HE WON. Play time is OVER, Teatrolls. Put the toys down and get the job done or we'll just let the Bush tax cuts expire and then propose tax cuts only for the middle-class...and watch you hang yourselves on them by refusing to pass them unless the 2% get atx cuts they don't need. Honestly, I'm starting to prefer the latter route. The GOP/Teatrolls and the rest of America that think they are standing on equal footing and proposing equally legitimate policies to the Dems all need to learn their lesson the hard way.

    November 27, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Randy, San Francisco

    Who is the target audience of the GOP/Tea Party PR campaign? Certainly not the 52% majority of Americans who voted for President Obama.

    November 27, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "Let's not keep this whole entire conversation centered on tax rates."

    The only thing keeping the conversation focused on tax rates is the GOP/Teatrolls' absolutism. And no, the Dems do NOT have to bargain with you to save you from Grover Norquist and your pledges. You wet your beds on that one...LIE IN IT.

    November 27, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. al

    Mitch McConnel is the most un-American person serving in the Senate today. He is absolutely unqualified, totally ignorant and nothing more that a mouthpiece for people who want to obstruct. That is all he has ever done. Why republicans tolerate this poor excuse for a leader is beyond me.

    November 27, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Taxes are going up on the rich,face it, just because the gop morons sign a pledge to a crook lobbyist rover nitwitquest not to raise taxes at the countries expence ,anybody in the gop who doesn't walk away from it will be gone in the next elections and will be considered traitors and unelectable . Time to get rid of all the gop trash from their failed party !!!!

    November 27, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Ricardo martinez

    The problem that Republicans don't understand is that the president was elected with a good margin, because people bealive in the president agenda. The republican agenda is not about to create jobs. It is about to put more money in the hand of the most rich, who really doe not need it. When America will get rid of this republicans rats??

    November 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "From the Times: "The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording.""

    Yeah, and did the NYT article mention that the only reason it happened was because of political pressure from Boehner's and McConnel's offices? The economist who conducted that study and wrote that report stands 100% by his findings: THERE IS ZERO EVIDENCE OVER THE PAST 60+ YEARS THAT TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY ENCOURAGE SAVINGS, SPUR INVESTMENT OR CREATE ECONOMIC GROWTH. NONE. ZIP. ZILCH. ZERO. NADA.

    November 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Dean

    Just cut spending.
    -------------
    Why didn't conservatives tell that to their party leaders during the Bush administration when they legislated all of this spending, and set the nation's economy flying off a cliff.....instead of bailing out on the problem and blaming the cut who took the pilot's seat and brought is in for a hard landing.

    November 27, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "Why didn't conservatives tell that to their party leaders during the Bush administration when they legislated all of this spending, and set the nation's economy flying off a cliff....."

    Because the goal all along was to create a giant deficit and debt problem they could then use as a hostage for demanding the destruction of Medicare, Medicaid, SS and other programs they have been trying to destroy since their inception.

    November 27, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Oh,are we going to hear about the imaginary job creators again that haven't created any jobs at the record low rates we have now. Don't bother telling us that crap that already failed on Nov6 . Gop morons, they gotta go in the next elections!!!!!!

    November 27, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. sonny chapman

    Clinton Economy- 39% Tax Rate-22 Million New Jobs. Bush Economy-355 Tax Rate-5 million Lost Jobs. SPIN THAT !!

    November 27, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  25. seanrodonnell

    So much for the will of the people. Then we wonder why the majority of Americans don't bother to vote. The voice of many is always squashed by the power of the few. But people are getting fed up, so this might get ugly for the GOP.

    November 27, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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