New Obama campaign memo hits Romney spending cuts plan
November 4th, 2011
07:36 AM ET
9 years ago

New Obama campaign memo hits Romney spending cuts plan

(CNN) - Ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech on plans to cut the government budget, a new memo from the Obama re-election campaign accuses the Republican of “echoing the Tea Party agenda and undermining bipartisan efforts to seek common ground.” It even suggests “the timing of these proposals may also set back the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’s efforts to agree on a deficit reduction plan.” By some estimates that so-called "super committee" must agree on a plan by late this weekend or early next week for it to be resolved in time to meet its deadline.

The memo, by Obama campaign policy director James Kvaal, echoes one of the campaign’s central attacks on its presumed opponent: that Romney’s proposals would “devastate key middle class programs to pay for tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.”

Friday, in Washington, Romney will deliver a speech outlining his plans to slash federal spending. He previewed his ideas in a USA Today op-ed. Among them: repeal health care reform, eliminate federal support for Amtrak and for Title X family planning including Planned Parenthood, exact deep cuts to National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, block grant Medicaid, raise the retirement age for social security and reduce benefits for younger recipients, among other ideas. Romney writes, “What I propose will not be easy. Washington is full of sacred cows that supposedly can't be slaughtered...But if we do not act now, the irresistible mathematics of debt will soon lead to unimaginable peril.”

In this memo the Obama campaign argues that Romney “operates under the false assumption that we can just cut our way to prosperity” and “his plan requires deep spending cuts across government, everywhere outside of defense spending." The memo ties Romney’s plan to House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s arguably controversial views. Ryan proposed a plan to drastically refashion Medicare in ways that might not play well with older voters, and Democrats plan to make Ryan’s proposals a major campaign issue. For example, Kvaal writes, “While Romney has not yet released his own Medicare plan, Romney supported the far-right budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan in March. That plan could increase out-of-pocket costs for seniors, a cost that will reach $6,000 in 2022."

The memo makes no mention of the candidate who is polling as well or ahead of Romney, Herman Cain. Another sign team Obama has firmly set its sights on defining Mitt Romney, their presumed opponent, as early as possible. Their message: that under Romney voters would see “Tax breaks for corporations and millionaires, forcing the middle class to pay a higher share.”

The Romney campaign hit back following the memo's release.

In response to the Obama team, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul told CNN, "The middle class won't see an improvement in their situation until Barack Obama is defeated and gone. President Obama has utterly failed to control the excessive spending in Washington. In fact, he has added to the problem. On his watch, America suffered its first ever credit rating downgrade - which humiliated us in the eyes of the world.

"I am not surprised that President Obama is now attacking Mitt Romney for putting forward his ideas on how to get spending and debt under control. The fact that they don’t recognize that we are in a fiscal crisis is just another reason why President Obama doesn’t deserve another term in office.”

Filed under: 2012 • Deficit commission • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. John

    I'm tired of hearing about cuts. Clearly the middle ground is to find savings by eliminating waste. Talk to Mr. Immelt about how his company saves. The private sector methods for savings can easily be applied to the government at all levels.

    Cutting does nothing but destroy jobs.

    November 4, 2011 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. Little Jimmy Truth

    DNC should look at Obama's records. It will find out its own answer.


    November 4, 2011 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  3. TomInRochNY

    Romney is the only viable apponent for Obama. But, getting the right to select him is another matter entirely. The right is out of control these days. There's no telling who they're going to pick. 2012 is going to be a strange election year.

    November 4, 2011 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Romney's proposal is like every other GOTP proposal out there. "Let's cut everything except for corporate welfare, and let's give another tax break to the wealthiest among us." Some estimates claim the Romney's proposal would save the Koch brothers 8 Billion (yes, with a "B") each (that's right. each)

    November 4, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  5. SearchingForAnAtheistExtremist

    If we have to accept that a corporation is a "person", as Mitt Romney continues to remind us, shouldn't that corporation be taxed like a person?

    November 4, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  6. Namejkane

    You have to be crazy to vote for any teapublican in the next just vote against your own interest if you do,mittens,and the rest of the teabags represent the 1%,not the 99% which is the middle class.all teapublians and some DEMS that vote with them ,need to be fired in next election

    November 4, 2011 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  7. Peace

    They should not waste their time and energy on Mr. Flip-flopper Romney. Conservatives and Tea Party prefer to swallow a bitter pill and let the President go on for another term than letting Romney take over. They managed for four years, they can also manage for another four.

    November 4, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  8. Anthony

    Can anyone find out how much spending would be cut if Romney's plan is adopted for 2012? Romney only projects savings for 2016 in his USA Today article. How would Romney deal with the CBO projection that repealing Obama's health care plan would actually increase the deficit (because repealing the plan also repeals the revenue from the program, and the projected revenue is actually greater than the spending)?

    November 4, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  9. Four and The Door

    The difference between Romney's economic strategy and Obama's economic strategy ( already played out, by the way... ) is that Romney's helps everyone at the expense of difficult political decisions while Obama's hurts everyone while avoiding at all cost any difficult political decisions.

    Obama's results, which we see all around us have damaged the American economy for generations. We will be paying his bills for decades. And what did we get for his $ Trillions spent? 9% unemployment and an economy teetering on it's second dip recession.

    We can do better. Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Herman Cain and John Boehner are the leaders showing us how. Better for everyone that what we have been given by the current administration.

    November 4, 2011 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  10. Robert

    "Washington is full of sacred cows that supposedly can't be slaughtered..."

    Does that include the sacred cow of no tax increase?

    November 4, 2011 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  11. jannet

    If u really think u can trust a republican go for it. but if u think lifeis bad now wait till the repug's steal every last penny from us for the wealthy richest 1 % folks u aint seen nothing yet in america as we knew it will be gone forever never to be seen again . think it over and count your pennies

    November 4, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. enough of lies

    hmmm, where is the microfilm, where are the college records, where are the jobs, is your first name really Steve and why do you have three, count them 3 social security numbers, can you answer those or is that part of your change. Nixon was more honest than obama.

    November 4, 2011 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  13. Don

    Romney as president? Might as well outsource the remaining middle class jobs now. The only hope this country has, excluding the wealthy and big dollar corporations is to re-elect Obama and get that republican congress out! I do not see how any middle class person could support the party that clearly does not have their interest in mind. The stupidity is astounding.

    November 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  14. Dave

    President Obama has no chance of winning a second term. When you blast Bush for debt and deficits, and then increase them fourfold, you have no credibilty. I will vote for Romney.

    November 4, 2011 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  15. stevie

    It seems only political rhetoric comes out of the whitehouse. Nothing of substance. Obama is no leader. He`s the Great Divider.

    November 4, 2011 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Their message: that under Romney voters would see “Tax breaks for corporations and millionaires, forcing the middle class to pay a higher share.”

    There can be NO DOUBT this is exactly what will happen in a Romney Administration. Just as his advisers ... all ex Bush folks; ready, willing, and eager to continue the path THEY set during the eight years GW was in office. Anyone who thinks Romney has the backbone to undermine his Republican advisers deserves another eight years of Bush. Good grief, the man can't give a straight answer if his life depended upon it. Fact is, we are where we are today for the policies set by these exact same fools. To go backward is absurd - and dangerous - not only for America, but the world economy as a whole. What Obama has NOT been able to do is get Republicans to admit their own policies brought this country to a halt. I doubt anyone could. To give Republicans full reign again, yes, reign - as in full authority - would create the same situation President Obama has fought tooth and nail to eliminate, and was forced to clean up in the 3 short years of his Administration. Apparently, not fast enough for some. Certainly not the GOPers who left such a stinking mess to begin with.

    November 4, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |