Dem likens working with GOP on taxes to negotiating with 'terrorists'
December 3rd, 2010
07:34 PM ET
12 years ago

Dem likens working with GOP on taxes to negotiating with 'terrorists'

(CNN) - Sen. Robert Menendez said Friday that if the Democratic-controlled Senate agrees to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts it could be akin to acceding to terrorist demands. Republicans immediately blasted the New Jersey Democrat for his comparison.

Menendez asked at a news conference, "Does the majority not only have a responsibility to get something done but to get something done that makes sense for the country?"

"Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse to the ultimate results? It's almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists?"

In a statement titled, "Menendez Compares GOP to Terrorists," the office of House Republican Whip Eric Cantor responded, " Um…No Senator, it is not. Not at all."

An aide to Menendez said the senator was talking about how the negotiations are proceeding, not about the Republicans personally.

"It's not surprising that some are eager to take a comment out of context in order to change the subject from the Republican millionaires-first plan," said spokesman Afshin Mohamadi. "The critical point for middle class Americans remains that Republicans have chosen to jeopardize tax cuts for every middle class family in order to guarantee an average tax cut of $104,000 for each millionaire."

Filed under: GOP • Robert Menendez • Taxes
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Jaison Biagini

    when only 26% of the country wants to extend the tax cuts for people making $250K should the new "we listen to the will of the people" republican party not hold up the tax cuts for the people making under $250K?? it's the same old republican party. crush the poor and feed the rich.

    December 4, 2010 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  2. leciat

    our esteemed "leaders" need to gtfu....such childish behavior that we would not tolerate from 4 year olds

    December 4, 2010 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  3. Willy Brown

    Typical democrat response since America fired them for screwing the USA!

    December 4, 2010 05:07 am at 5:07 am |
  4. bill

    the gop has done far more damage to the u.s. than any terrorist could! they've gone to war without funding it– tipping us into far worse debt. they've unleashed the halliburtons and enrons of the world against the environment–and against states like california– bankrupting our treasuries. they've ruined the middle class by favoring giant corporations who ship jobs overseas. and they create an anti-intellectuaal culture at a time when the intellect is the only thing that can save us. they are, in short the destroyers of america. and they lie and lie again. the tea partiers worst of all. they should read about the first president to "destroy" the constitution by going into debt: george washington. they know nothing and spread ignorance. criminals.

    December 4, 2010 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  5. jorge washingsen

    They should know, since they have practiced terrorism on the American people since 2008.

    December 4, 2010 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  6. Bruce

    Well, at least he had the guts to say what many of us feel. The Reps are holding us all hostage for the sake of their beloved special interest groups: millionaires and big business.

    December 4, 2010 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    This tax-and-spend Democrat, of the party forever willing to extort more money out of American taxpayers, is calling Republicans "terrorists?!"

    Protecting Americans from a thieving government is perhaps the noblest thing a politician can do these days–if this be "terrorism," make the most of it.

    December 4, 2010 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  8. leftover

    Well, Menendez, how would you feel if the only means to care for your family was hanging in the balance and all anybody was arguing about was extending tax cuts for people who still have jobs and a roof over their heads? If you really wanted to do something for the country, you would fight to extend unemployment benefits to the millions of workers tossed on the trash heap because of people just like you.
    All of you are terrorists. There is no difference between Democrat and Republican. You're all in the pockets of big business and this tax cut nonsense is just your theater of the absurd, a lie, a scam to try and convince people you're doing something besides taking your bribes to the bank and jerking each other off.
    Bovine excrement, Menendez, is all you and the rest of your criminal cohorts have to offer anybody.

    December 4, 2010 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  9. Rob

    The Democrats need to get some spine and allow tax cuts to expire for everyone and then blame the Republicans for not wanting to budge on allowing them to expire for only the wealthiest Americans. The wealthiest Americans vote for Republicans mostly anyways, and middle-class Americans will vote against the Republicans because they saw it fit to allow all tax cuts to expire because they couldn't compromise on letting the tax cuts on the rich expire. If that doesn't tell you that the Republicans are mostly looking out for the interests of the wealthy then I don't know what will.

    December 4, 2010 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  10. fbysea

    He is absolutely right. The Republicans have only one agenda, and that is getting rid of President Obama. They don't care and never have about the middle class. And yes, they WILL distort his words.

    December 4, 2010 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  11. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    165 congressional republicans have said "Hell no!" to giving all Americans a tax cut on earnings up to $250,000. What part of saying "No!" to 98% of the American people who would benefit the most does Cantor not get? I think hurting 98% of us is exactly what the Taliban is trying to do.

    December 4, 2010 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  12. BD70

    Why are all the Republicans comments sounding like something Palin would say? Ummm No is not..not at all. Then what is it? How about an honest answer for once instead of some kind of street answer? An honest answer would be "we care about our rich friends and want tax cuts included for them also" Or something to that affect.

    December 4, 2010 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  13. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    I wonder if the Taxed Enough Already baggers know that the GOP voted to raise their taxes?

    December 4, 2010 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  14. Mark Knight

    These people think because they get re-elected they are safe for awhile. That lets them hold the country hostage so they can try and get what they want. That does make them terrorist... Lets use the Patriot Act on them!

    December 4, 2010 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  15. ABM

    FINALLY!!!!! Someone in the Democratic party has the fortitude to state the obvious. I commend you for speaking your mind and not suger coating it. Please do not apologize or rephrase your comment.

    December 4, 2010 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  16. rdepontb

    Thank you, Senator Menendez, for putting it out there. The Republicans are by now so lulled into fantasy land by lack of White House spine that they spit at anything and everything the Dems say. Thank you for calling them out. "Terrorist" tactics is exactly waht they've been practicing, in fact ever since Obama's election. They show no sense of country at all, and we can't let them get away with it--for their own good as well as the nation's.

    December 4, 2010 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  17. Larry G in CT

    This week, Harry Reid called two-income households making $250,000 "millionaires and billionaires." Now, the spokesman for Senator Menendez railed about the $104,000 tax break these so-called "millionaires" receive. For the record, I am not a fan of either party (or of the Tea Party for the matter), but I know several two-income families in the NYC metropolitan area barely making $250,000 between both spouses.....They are not millionaires, and they certainly do not get refunds of $104,000. In fact, many have multiple kids in college, big mortgages, and elder care issues. Most don't even get a refund. Someone needs to stop the spin on both sides. For the record, here is how the Dictionary defines "millionaire:"

    "a person whose wealth amounts to a million or more in some unit of currency, as dollars " OR "a person whose assets are worth at least a million of the standard monetary units of his country".

    Therefore, even families earning $1 million a year might not even qualify according to this definition.

    December 4, 2010 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  18. sharon

    Finally someone uses the word I have used all along to describe the Republicans and their media supporters – domestic terrorists. That is exactyt what they are. The first sign I saw this in the Republicans was Sarah Palin and her "paling around with terrorists" during the campaign referring to Obama. The cry and more was carried on through Limbaugh, Beck and Hannity and the scariest of all Michelle Malkin( a real nut job) They are holding the middle class hostage so they and their cronies can save themeselves some money. Small business owners are NOTmilloionaires – 44% of congress are millionaires. First campaign promise will be broken- we will not add to the deficit and that is exactly what they will do with the tax cuts. Take care of the people who got them back in power first- big business and millionaires.

    December 4, 2010 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  19. the real ib

    The real problem in this country right now is that the democrats will use anything say anything to keep from working with the republicans. The demo's policies are a failure aka 9.8% unemployment rate and then they resort to calling other people terrorist. My way or the highway is what democrats call working together. 2012 will see another landslide for the republicans if the demo's don't wake up.

    December 4, 2010 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  20. SWFL commentator

    "Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse to the ultimate results? It's almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists?" – The same thing could be said of how Democrats passed healthcare.

    December 4, 2010 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Has everyone in New Jersey lost their minds? Menendez can't be a liberal leftist cause he's not Jewish. Unless, he too, changed his name. Hyperbole in small doses please.

    December 4, 2010 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  22. James the Veteran

    Just so there isn't anything out of context..."Do you allow yourself to be held hostage and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it might be perverse to the ultimate results? It's almost like the question of do you negotiate with terrorists?" What about the American people being "held hostage" by the health care plan of the Democrats? You will pay for health care (although we will not set any limits on charges) if you don't pay we will punish you by making you pay. Just to be clear according to the New Jersey Senator, we have a Tyranical/Dictatorship calling the other group terrorists. I am so happy to hear Sen. Robert Menendez using a term that refers to people trying to kill our soldiers for his own personal gain. Way to go. Yet I am sure he had no problem sleeping last night.

    December 4, 2010 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  23. Shoreline

    It was the Republicans who created this crisis in the first place. Now they fight every effort by loyal Americans to extricate our nation from it. And in a time of war, no less.

    The term “traitors” is much more appropriate.

    December 4, 2010 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  24. ed

    Typical Dem BS.

    December 4, 2010 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  25. D. Bunker

    In a way he's right. The GOBPbaggers are bent on the destruction of America's poor and middle class.

    December 4, 2010 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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