2012 candidates sound off on debt deal
August 1st, 2011
12:43 PM ET
9 years ago

2012 candidates sound off on debt deal

(CNN) – Varied reactions to the debt deal are coming from Republican presidential candidates following Sunday's agreement between the White House and Congressional leaders to raise the nation's debt ceiling before the August 2 deadline.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who kept his distance from the debate ahead of the agreement, said as president his plan "would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced," that did not leave the door open to higher taxes and cuts to defense spending.

"President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and the 59th minute," Romney said in a statement. "I personally cannot support this deal."

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who has consistently opposed an increase to the debt limit, said President Obama "failed to lead and failed to provide a plan."

"The 'deal' he announced spends too much and doesn't cut enough," Bachmann said in a statement. "This isn't the deal the American people 'preferred' either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will."

Jon Huntsman, the former Utah gov. and U.S. ambassador to China, disagreed with his 2012 rivals, calling the agreement a "positive step toward cutting our nation's crippling debt."

He encouraged members of Congress to vote for the agreement and said he will advocate for a plan from the bipartisan committee that includes "real cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue-neutral tax reforms – without any tax hikes."

"The Republican members of Congress deserve tremendous credit for moving this debate to the forefront and at long last beginning to get Washington in line," Huntsman said in a statement.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich responded to the deal by outlining his approach to solving the debt crisis that would include a concentration on job creation, keeping politics out of national security and cutting spending by reforming and restructuring government.

"With so much work remaining to be done, this deal is yet another reminder of the urgent need to replace President Obama and his radical commitment to big government and higher taxes," Gingrich said in a statement.

Alex Conant, a spokesman for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, said the deal is "nothing to celebrate."

"Only in Washington would the political class think it's a victory when the government narrowly avoids default, agrees to go further into debt, and does little to reform a spending system that cannot be sustained by our children and grandchildren," Conant said in a statement. "While no further evidence was needed, this entire debt ceiling fiasco demonstrates that President Obama must be replaced."

Filed under: 2012 • Congress • Debt • Deficit • Jon Huntsman • Michele Bachmann • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Someone remind Bachmann that the plan is congress's job. It isn't the president's job to come up with a plan.
    She wants to be president, but doesn't even know how to do the job she already has.

    August 1, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. BT

    old mitt

    August 1, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. TomInRochNY

    At the moment Huntsman seems like the only viable candidate. The rest are just plain nuts.

    August 1, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. creole

    Oh boy here the crazy birds always what they would do and always try to blame Mr.President. you all are going down in 2012 ......Obama 2012

    August 1, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Someone remind Bachmann that the plan is congress's job. It isn't the president's job to come up with a plan.
    The country has LONG since given up on Mr. I-Vote-Present to provide ANYTHING. Not only no plan, no leadership and no clue. But you CAn count on him for plenty of campaign rhetoric, demonization and insults. Obama can't even fool his base anymore, let alone most of the American people. Nov. 2012 can't come soon enough.

    August 1, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  6. A Repulbican

    When was the last time the a president and government cut $2.1 trillion. Hmm, sounds like he's doing a good job to me.

    August 1, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  7. king

    hey i cannot understand why congress always coming up to the president demanding him to write his own plan, hey last time i remember the president belongs to the executive branch not the legislative. the people didnt vote him in to office to write laws, thats the congress job. i dont see congress going over to the judicial branch and forcing those supreme court justices to write law. they would get cust out, and told abrumptly thats not their job, and theyve got enough on their hands with there jobs. someone need to school congress on how this these three branches work. if they cannot do the job the american people voted them to do, well they need to quit. all the president power in congress is to suggest stuff, and hes been suggesting and suggesting and every time he suggest somthing the tea baggers eat him up. hey president you need to leave congress alone so they can do the work the people voted them in to do. you dont need to suggest anything a thousand times, and by law your not suppose to write any laws to congress. youve got the executive branch stuff youve got to deal with. you cannot your job and the congresses. then what the hell divided governmen is for.

    August 1, 2011 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    2012 candidates had better add their support of a balance budget amedment to their list. Repeal and replace Obamacare, balanced budget amendment and reigning in an out of control federal government that wants to control and run everything in sight.

    August 1, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Done With You All

    Look at the stock market, oh this deal just saved us, yea right, more political bull from a bunch of clowns.

    August 1, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. Steve Thompson

    The proposed spending cuts over the next 10 years will not even pay for the interest on the current debt. As this posting shows, the interest owing on the federal debt will exceed $450 billion this year, setting a new record:


    If interest rates increase to historically normal levels as seen in the early 2000s, interest owed on the debt could well rise to $960 billion annually, more than what is spent on Social Security and Medicaid in a year.

    This is, to put it mildly, a rather pitiful deal.

    August 1, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  11. patcee

    I can't believe Huntsman's comment about how great a job the Republicans did on moving this deal along. The whole party is an obstruction with one goal, getting rid of Obama. This is a horrible place for America to be – in the hands of wackos and a president who won't stand up and fight for what he knows is right. We are in peril.

    August 1, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  12. qnswmn

    "The Undefeated," has been DEFEATED! Baaaawhahahahahahah!

    August 1, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. sue

    You notice all of them want to cut cut cut but not in defense or raise Taxes but cut cut cut.....and what would they cut? Our Social Security, Medicare, and entitlements, take it all away from us the middle class and keep giving to the Wealthest, Big corporations, all their loopholes, and Tax Credits, do you see any cuts in their Retirement plans, or medical plans or salaries that we the tax payers provide for them?.......they dont want to cut defense because they want to keep the Wars going......come on people open your eyes and smell the roses before they kill the Rose Bush

    August 1, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  14. chill

    The deal these people prefer would have shot us into a double dip recession and gutted the middle class in favor of multi-national and foreign-owned corporations that have bought loopholes and favors from Congress that the GOP refuses to eliminate- preferring to wipe out Medicare and programs the citizens of this country count on to protect their health and to provide an even playing field for opportunity.

    August 1, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  15. Laverne

    Now that the hard part is done this clown, Mitt Romney comes out about what he would do. He would do nothing, he is a flip flopper and the American people better we weary and cautious when it comes to this guy. He is like a car salesman, will do and say whatever it takes to seal the deal. He gives me the creeps!!!

    August 1, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Oh please! Romneycare has been hiding anf the MN flake would rsther see the country implode!!
    This is what the gotpeers have as candidates?

    August 1, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  17. Peter

    So, Obama offered the Republicans $4trillion in cuts a week ago including $1trillion in tax increases but they said no and agreed to approx $2.3trillion in cuts instead. This doesn't sound like the Republican Tea Party actually won anything does it?

    August 1, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Les E. Yingling

    Big surprise....Republicans trying to get elected......the hell with the country. Jon.H. you be the man!!!!

    August 1, 2011 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Mark

    Here I thought Romney was the adult in the playground that is the Republican nomination race. Defense spending has gone from 3.1% of GDP in 2001 to 4.7% in 2009, and he doesn't think there is room for cuts. It feels like all the Republican candidates are campaigning for the Tea Party fringe of the party to get an edge on the rest of them. Coddling the Tea Party is allowing the tail to wag the dog. They are all in danger of winning the far right of their party, only to drive the moderates to the Democrats.

    August 1, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Les E. Yingling

    Big surprise....Republicans trying to get elected......the heck with the country. Jon.H. you be the man!!!!

    August 1, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. Al-NY,NY

    Forget it Andrew. She and the rest of the GOP sheep don't have a clue

    August 1, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who has consistently opposed an increase to the debt limit, said President Obama "failed to lead and failed to provide a plan."
    Well, he did sort of have a plan. He planned to take this opportunity to increase taxes but that was only after his plan to get this done without any spending cuts. Fortunately ( and thanks to American voters in 2010 ) neither of these plans were perpetrated on the country. Taxes have not increased and the federal government gets to grow a little less during the last half of his time in office. Speaker Boehner was the only politician in Washington providing leadership through this ordeal. Because of that, this ended up being a better deal for Americans and not just the Washington Political Establishment.

    August 1, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. A Real Patriot

    It's easy to criticize when you don't have skin in the game....really unprofessional too.
    And these folks want to be President?
    Are you kidding me?

    August 1, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Bill NY

    Here we go again from those with no real clue. When they say they don't want to raise taxes on US citizens, they try to make it sound like they're talking about the middle class, when they are really talking about the super rich. When they say they don't want to hurt business, they mean really, really big busines that lines their pockets. These candidates are pontentially very destructive to this country. The front runner is very skilled at laying off many thousands and dissolving corporations(yes I mean you Mitt). No one, and I mean NO ONE kills jobs like republicans.

    August 1, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. California Conservative

    Anyone for continued massive spending is truly Anti-American and advocates for the destruction of the US financial system.

    August 1, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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