April 13th, 2010
08:31 PM ET
13 years ago

Gregg defends GOP opposition, says Dems moving too far left

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/13/art.2gregg0413.cnn.jpg caption="Americans are 'center-right people,' Sen. Judd Gregg said Tuesday."]
Washington (CNN) – A respected Republican senator said Tuesday that the Obama administration and the Democratically-controlled Congress are taking the country too far in a liberal direction. And retiring New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg said his party is justified in opposing Democratic measures because the American public is fundamentally “center-right” in its political orientation.

Earlier in the day, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Republicans will do themselves a disservice in this midterm election year by simply embracing “the party of no” label placed on the GOP by Democrats. If Republicans succeed in retaking both chambers of Congress, their agenda once in charge “can't just be yelling no,” Gingrich said.

Related: 'You can't govern by saying no,' Gingrich says

In an interview with CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, Gregg was asked whether the GOP says “no” too much lately.

“Well, we do and we need to when we’re confronting things that are very bad for our country – either fiscally or from a standpoint of policy,” Gregg, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, said on CNN’s John King, USA.

“You’ve got a government now that’s moving to the left,” Gregg said.

The Republican employed a football metaphor to explain his view of where national Democrats stand right now on the political spectrum.

“All American politics is historically played between the 40-yard lines,” he told King. But, with control of both the White House and Congress, Democrats have gone down “to the 20-yard line or the 15-yard line on the left.”

Gregg added, Americans are “center-right people. They want government but they don’t want it to be excessive. They want it to be affordable.”

The Republican, who has been sounding an alarm for the last year about the possible adverse impacts of the increasing amount of national debt, said Americans are concerned that the country will be less prosperous in the future because of the debt which Gregg said is being used to finance the expansion of the federal government.

Notwithstanding his criticism of Democrats, Gregg, who also sits on the Senate Banking Committee, said both parties need to work together to craft a package of financial regulatory changes.

“We need to do this in a bipartisan way,” Gregg said of Wall Street reform. “This is extremely complex stuff. There really aren’t a whole lot of partisan issues in this mix. But there’s a lot of big issues.”

Gregg said dealing with financial institutions who have become “too big to fail,” is key to changing how Washington regulates Wall Street’s giants. He faulted the Democratic bill soon to come before the full Senate for how it deals with large institutions that are all but collapsed.

Related: McConnell tells GOP to vote no on Wall Street bail

“The markets can’t have a concept that somebody can exist even though they’re financially insolvent,” he told King. “That undermines, basically, the efficient use of capital. You do not want that to happen. We have to end ‘too big to fail.’”

Amidst his criticism of Democrats for being too liberal, King reminded Gregg that the Republican lawmaker had almost joined the Obama administration as the commerce secretary.

Gregg snuck in a quick response: “Yes I did; that was my mistake.”

Gregg, who is not running for re-election in November, was announced as the White House pick to lead the Commerce Department but then withdrew because he realized he had ideological differences with President Obama on some issues.

Filed under: JKUSA • John King USA • Judd Gregg • Popular Posts
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Scott D. Clark

    GOP: The party of No! No Ideas. No truth, just spreading fear and hatred! That's all they are good at! Only the uninformed listen to them!

    April 13, 2010 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. Dale Sorenson

    without a solution..a plan..an idea ...all of the NO you say to most everything the dems push...make me think you don't KNOW...looks like putrid politcs to me.

    April 13, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    of course to him it looks like the Dems have gone so far left because the GOP is going so far to the right!! They are practically booting out whatever was left of their moderate Republicans. Just look at the so-called leaders of that party from Palin to Limbaugh and see how far right that party has gone. One thing about the right...no matter what happens everyone is at fault BUT them......Boss Limbaugh has tuaght them well!

    April 13, 2010 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  4. Poll Smolls

    Gregg, please sit down somewhere. Obama is not to far to the left. We as a nation are moving back to the center verses being extreme right for the last 8 years.

    We have not yet begun to fight. Progress is coming to America. You can get with it or get ran over.

    April 13, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  5. The majority of Americans...

    don't have the time to keep up with day to day politicals because they are just trying to live their lives.

    GOP your time is running out. In the end it's all about, "What you – GOP – accomplished that positively affected American lives"!

    I'm not part of the average and my scorecard shows nothing but lies and negativity toward the POTUS only. No good intentions for the American People. Just listen to fox or glenn beck sounding like a broken record with no real solutions. Your behavior leads me to believe you – GOP – are selfish and only want control of the WH and if you got control – more selfishness and disaster would come, AGAIN!


    Fooled me once but never twice!

    April 13, 2010 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  6. LouAz

    It is beconing clearer now . . . the Flat Earth Party thinks they are playing football ! What a TEAM !

    April 13, 2010 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  7. Bill Sampson

    Is that the fake talking point, now? We are moving to the "left"? Really?


    April 13, 2010 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  8. ConstitutionalPatriot

    The financial problems we face do not stem from lack of regulation, but rather too much of it placed in the wrong hands. The not so federal Federal Reserve has created too many bubbles and they have only begun to burst. The constant manipulation of interest rates creates malinvestment and action that would otherwise never occur under pure market conditions, which in turn results in the recession we are currently enduring. Until those in Washington turn away from the fraudulent system we have in place due to the universal embracement of keynesian economics it will only continue to get worse. We will likely experience a dollar crisis shortly in which our currency will collapse. Ron Paul predicted the crash of 2008 five years before it happened! When will we begin to listen to his common sense message of sound money and embrace the school of austrian economics? God help us, is anyone listening?

    April 13, 2010 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  9. Hawk in texas

    Judd is an idiot. the republicans are the ones that have moved way right.just look at what bush did to the supreme court. ultra right.

    April 13, 2010 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  10. Nija

    Pls can someone tell me what is far left. Is far Right helping Americans?

    April 13, 2010 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. Iris

    It is so sad that the GOP is hatefully trying to under mind everything the president is doing to help people with the big mess this country was left in. I think the president has been very successful in his goals which are the same goals I would hope the GOP would have wanted for the people. They are aware of the necessary steps that was needed to get us out of the mess the country was in and continue to relentlessly fight the one man that has the courage to stand up for the people and get the job done that is for the people.

    April 14, 2010 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. ESM

    If Americans are so "center-right", why did they overwhelmingly vote Obama into office when he let all his intentions be known throughout the campaign. He basically ran on healthcare reform and now I see these guys saying that the American people didn't want it? They voted for the guy who said that's what he was going to do right? The reason is because Americans were so tired of being at that "center-right" position and watching where it was taking this country, so they voted for someone who would radically change the status quo. Now you see these desperate people trying to hold on to that failing status quo and their power so they planted fear and uncertainty in the minds of the people. Sometimes things need to change drastically when they are obviously not working any longer and we know that the Republican policies put us into the position we are now and are no longer viable. Once again, the people voted for Obama and his promises of big change in Washington, and for the Republicans to derail every one of those attempts is the real crime against the American people and our system of government.

    April 14, 2010 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  13. addon

    Yeah the country is center right....that's why Obama won the election. Now I get it.

    Haven't you retired yet? Why are you still on the stage?

    April 14, 2010 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  14. Liberal and Proud

    Please allow me to correct you, Senator Gregg:

    The United States of America has long been too far right. I would want to ask: Where were you from c. 2000 to c. 2008?

    Indeed, this country has declined in so many ways since the late 1960s. Around 1968, conservative and corporate forces in this country (and in the UK, I believe) became increasingly frightened of the "counterculture." (And who were correct about the Vietnam War? Not the conservatives!) Like many (probably most) liberals, I firmly believe that conservative forces are largely (but not entirely) responsible for this country's present state of disaster.

    Once more, who was in charge from early 2000 to early 2009? Which party dominated Congress from c.1994-2006? And which party now is in command of the Supreme Court? I would suggest that never before has America seen such a corrupt Congress, such a corrupt Administration, and such a corrupt Supreme Court. Case closed.

    April 14, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  15. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    Left? Seriously? How can we have a conversation if all you do is spout out talking points and miss information. What specifically has been 'too far to the left" because I'm still waiting for single payer health care,
    restoration of our civil liberties, stopping two wars and shrinking executive power. I can't even get congress to dump Gitmo with 59 senators. Give me a break.

    April 14, 2010 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  16. John from Brooklyn

    Why didn't Gregg address the dramatic move to the right of the Republicans? Remember...it was the Nixon administration that brought us the EPA.....the Ford administration that andorsed and campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment for Women...the first Bush Administration that sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act...even the Reagan administration endorsed Afffirmative Action.

    The 21st century Republicans are the most radically conservative party we've ever encountered in this country....advocates of cutting virtually all services to the needy...awarding constitutional civil rights to big businesses...bailing out the banks (then claiming the Dem's did it)...misinforming the US into a war....advocating wire taps without court orders.

    Its not the Dems that have changed...its the Reps!

    April 14, 2010 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  17. MikeH

    The Democrats are standing still, it's the Republicans who have moved so far to the right to become racist, and NAZI's.

    Hey Gregg, howya like rubbing elbows with Adolph? Don't worry, we'll stop you when you cross the line, traitors get long sentences.

    April 14, 2010 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  18. Centerleft

    President Obama has done more work in 15 months than Regan and all the Bush's. The man is on fire! This is what a competent government looks like. Sen. Gregg and the Republicans are stuck in a ditch with the Tea Party with no ideas.

    April 14, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  19. jh

    Gregg added, Americans are “center-right people. They want government but they don’t want it to be excessive. They want it to be affordable.”

    If you feel this way, why do you and all your colleagues vote yourself raises every year, expect health insurance far and above what the average American has, and expect government pension for the rest of your life no matter if you serve 4 or 40 years?

    And you're accomplishing less year after year!

    You work for us. Since we're the boss, let the people tell you what your raises should be based on what you accomplish.

    April 14, 2010 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  20. Andrew

    Well, actually Republicans put us so far to the right, we've got to go left to get back to center. Don't these guys own a GPS? It's simple as 1 + 1.

    April 14, 2010 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  21. Larry

    One really bad thing for this country is the GOP

    If I had my way, we'd move so far to the left that we couldn't even see the right

    All I ever hear coming out of a Republicans mouth, are complaints about Democrats

    At least the Democrats do the work the American people hired them to do ...

    The Party Of NO ...

    They do NO-THING but talk ... and complain, and lie, and steal, and take bribes

    Apparently worthless to the core

    Most of them couldn't earn a buck out here in the real world if their lives depended on it

    Anytime one of you / or all of you whining Republicans want to see how hard REAL Americans work, just let me know !!!!!

    April 14, 2010 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    Give me a break! President Obama is a very centrist leader; "too far left" is how the Republicans like to whine about the fact that THEY LOST AND ARE NO LONGER IN POWER!

    April 14, 2010 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  23. John

    “You’ve got a government now that’s moving to the left,” Gregg said.

    Ya think? After having been lured far, far, to the right for... oh...uhm.... like.... decades?

    April 14, 2010 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  24. lovable liberal

    Judd Gregg wouldn't know the left if he sat on it. He and the rest of the Republicans are using incredibly extreme language about a very centrist Democratic government. The so-called socialist health plan is a case in point. It derives mainly from Republican proposals of twenty years ago!

    April 14, 2010 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  25. vwrtb

    What a corporate tool...

    April 14, 2010 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
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