April 13th, 2010
08:31 PM ET
12 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. Marie MD

    gregg is obviously full of the same human waste that makes up the repugs, the party of he// no.
    President Obama is a centrist. He's not a left winger by any means.
    Maybe CNN should look into the governor of Virginia who ran as a moderate and has turned out to be a religious right winger (all the idiots in VA who voted for him deserve him). His thesis from the university of pat robertson (no less) and his ideas about women, gays is as ring wing nutso as you can get. confederate month, gay rights and now essays and church affiliation for non violent felons.
    he and cuchinelli are making VA the new SC. He's in his first few months and they have already made VA into a late night joke.
    Can governors be impeached?

    April 13, 2010 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. Bill B.

    Weren't we too far to the right for eight years?

    April 13, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  3. Justin - NC

    If American's are center-right people, why did they elect, according to Newt Gingrich, the most radical President in American history?

    Time to do a little research Gregg, Limbaugh, Palin, Romney, Paul, and everyone else. Americans LOVE OBAMA! They elected him President remember?

    April 13, 2010 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  4. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    When you're standing as far to the right as the GOP is these days, everything will be to the left of you.

    April 13, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Gil

    And where has the right moved? Close to the brown shirts demanding a "Loyalty Oath" of their members!

    April 13, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  6. maf

    and the policy that you maintained during the Bush administration proved to be almost fatal to America. Do you have any alternatives other than the sorry tired GOP talking points from before the election????

    Either become part of the solution or get out of the way!

    April 13, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  7. tepid2

    Judd Gregg for President- one of only qualified people alive today to be President ...Corkle and Ryan need more seasoning but either would make fine VP's.... plus you wont get the daily dose of Obabbleon babbleing on ...

    April 13, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  8. Save 'em in the womb, so a "christian" holy war can send 'em to the tomb

    Cons are just upset the country is "moving" in any direction.

    And yes I suppose to Gregg and the tea gaggers anything left of Saint Sarah of the Silly is the "wrong direction".

    Except 53% to 46% of the American voters voted to "move" or "progress" not to stay in place.

    But, then can we really listen to any con that states the party of NO agenda is to see President Obama, and by proxy this country "fail"?

    April 13, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  9. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    And to keep up the football analogy, when was the last time a football team "won" when the quarterback "failed"?

    April 13, 2010 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  10. JAB

    As opposed to GW Bush and the Republicans taking the country to far right???

    April 13, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  11. SC-Pub "no" more

    Can't John find anyone that thinks the Administration is doing a good job? Why this right winged hack job on CNN. Do we not have enough on 24/7 Obama bashing, fear mongering Fox?

    April 13, 2010 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. obamarroids

    This should be a non-story with CNN. With the overwhelming opposition to the Pelosi/Obama agenda it seems rather odd that John King would imply in any way that the GOP is the party of NO. King if acting more like Obama's butt buddy than a news analyst.

    April 13, 2010 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  13. m smith

    It only seems like we are moving to the left when the repos are moving so far to the right that they will run into their own backsides.

    April 13, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  14. Ken

    The Democrats are simply trying to move the U.S. Nation to the balanced Center where it needs to be. And sadly where it never has been.

    April 13, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  15. normajean

    The repubs say NO to anything. They have already indicated that they will vote NO to the Presidents Supreme Court nominee when no names have even been announced. They are and have been from the start intent on putting this administration down and for President Obamas short time in Washington have done absolutely nothing FOR the country due to their determination to stop any progress the president might make. I really believe this obvious, vitriolic action will back fire and that a lot of possible repub, votes will become Democratic votes because of this self serving action that has almost put a stop to progress in many desperate areas of our society..No one wins if only one side plays the game.

    April 13, 2010 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. JonDie

    Heil Gregg, oh illustrious and righteous fuhrer!

    April 13, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  17. CAW in MD

    Only people who are on the 5 yard line to the right could possibly see this administration as radically liberal. The health care reform bill was remarkable for its centrist approach. Obama sent more troops to Afghanistan than Bush ever did. He just opened up the Eastern seaboard for offshore drilling. People are all in a tizzy about cap and trade, but wanting to put a price on carbon is hardly radical liberalism. People are all in a tizzy about *projected* spending, but in real dollars Obama is still over 3 trillion behind Bush in terms of adding to the public debt.

    Republicans sling the word "liberal" like a pejorative, and they are convinced that it is a winning political strategy. But they rarely are ever challenged to either define the word, or provide concrete examples. A responsible media would fix that...

    April 13, 2010 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. VW

    These Repugs with their no idea policies however, full of BS and play on words policies ie: to far to the right, liberal, reckless, americans don't like these policies dispite the fact the majority of Americans elected the current administration,who is doing exactly what he campaign and was elected to do. Get over it, right ,left, center, middle what ever name Gregg and the other Repug want to call it."You LOst The Election" because the real majority of americans made it a reality!!

    April 13, 2010 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. FormerGOPBob

    Dragged to far to the left? NOT NEARLY far enough!

    After years of GOP deregulation, tax cuts for the rich, stripping the rights of free americans under the guise of anti-terrorism, and handing the reins of government to the corporations, it will take YEARS to drag this country back to the center, let alone left.

    April 13, 2010 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  20. carlos

    another IDIOT and repulsive

    April 13, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  21. Vigla

    Really Judd? Left to you is the regular person's center. You and all Republicans have moved too far RIGHT to know what center really is... You let the southern conservatives hijack your party to the point where you are no longer interested in the ideas of the other side at all. You all demonize the left and refuse to work with them. Center means ideas from both sides are used to govern. Last I checked, Obama is not exhibiting liberal tendencies. He did not push single payer, he hasn't nationalized the banks or abolished wall street.

    And people believe electing Republicans will solve anything? I say KEEP THEM IN DETENTION until they learn to play nice with others.

    April 13, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but....

    Wow! Just Wow! Anybody outside the US would say that we've got two parties in America: the far, far right lunatic fringe and the not quite so far right "democrats". We have no left leaning voice with any type of power. Americans really have no historical or political perspective anymore. Willful ignorance and lies rule here. Thanks, soundbite corporate media, you're a joke. Notice how you didn't take home any Pulitzers this year? Hope your proud. Thanks, Reagan revolution, your work is done here. R.I.P., The United States of America. Welcome to fascist, corporate America, Inc. Crack another cold one with me, consumerbots, and listen to the loud sucking sound of a decaying empire. We had a good run there. It's over now. Now bend over for your corporate overlords. Have a nice day!

    April 13, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  23. rdepontb

    Senator Gregg,
    As a Nashua, NH, native, I have been saddened and shocked by the tactics you seem to have encouraged within the party. This business of saying "NO" for politics is one thing, but when it starts holding back the nation from being its best, we have gone too far.

    This week's multiple missteps with regard to Wall Street oversight is a potentially suicidal case in point. You and McConnell and Co need to get it straight from month to month... everyone sees you changing back and forth on such key issues, to keep the President-our fine nation-off-balance.

    This is not good stewardship, sir. It is a recipe for handing us over to China and the Middle East...or are your actions saying it is already too late?

    April 13, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  24. stevetall

    Hey, dummy! Most Americans are NOT "center-right people". If we were, we wouldn't be a democracy. We are, in fact a very liberal-thinking bunch. All those freedoms and rights in the Constitution are not the product of right-wing philosophy.

    Sheesh! It is time for you to retire, isn't it, Mr. Gregg?!?

    April 13, 2010 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. Cole

    More unbelievable nonsense from the right. Every unelected, non-partisan pundit is actually surprised at how moderate this administration has been. But just like the evil liberal , Bill Clinton (actually a little right of center), the extreme right relies on fear to increase voter turnout and contributions. Lies plain and simple for those who believe plain and simple things.

    April 13, 2010 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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