GOP deficit debate strategy: Blame Democrats
November 16th, 2011
10:05 AM ET
11 years ago

GOP deficit debate strategy: Blame Democrats

(CNN) - The Republican advice from on high on how to win the debt debate is blame President Barack Obama for the current predicament and emphasize Republicans' efforts to put the country on a road to fiscal responsibility.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sent a memo to state party chairs and will deliver a speech at the University of Chicago Wednesday to drive home the message while the deadline for a Congressional super committee to reach a deal over deficit reduction looms.

Priebus asks state party leaders to remind voters that the "massive debt we face is a direct result of President Obama's failures to govern like he campaigned."

"Let them know that Republicans have taken the task of deficit reduction seriously," Priebus writes in the memo, according to the RNC.

Priebus paints Republicans on Capitol Hill as problem solvers, who passed plans for a balanced budget and are willing to make tough choices to ensure deficit reduction, while Democrats and the president are determined to push significant tax increases and more stimulus money.

The 12-person bipartisan super committee has until next week to find at least $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade to avoid automatic across-the-board spending cuts starting in 2013.

"This massive debt is a result of one thing: the president's broken promise to cut the deficit," Priebus will tell an audience at the University of Chicago, according to the RNC. "Instead of slowing its growth, he accelerated it."

"… In 2012, voters in your state must also know that Republicans will offer a solution," Priebus writes in the memo.

But Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said the memo "doesn't even pass the laugh test" and that his party is working toward a balanced solution that "requires everyone to pay their fair share instead of piling more burdens on middle class families, small businesses and seniors like Republicans want to do."

"Middle Class Americans know well who Republicans are fighting for on Capitol Hill - and certainly it is not them," Woodhouse said.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Wednesday showed Americans are skeptical the committee will reach an agreement. According to the survey, 42% of those questioned would blame Republicans for failure while 32% would blame Democrats. Independent voters would also fault Republicans at a greater rate than Democrats, 40% to 24% respectively, with a quarter saying they would blame both parties.

Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Democrats • DNC • Republicans • RNC
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. chris

    Only thing here that doesn't pass the "laugh test" is the supposed democratic policy that "requires everyone to pay their fair share instead of piling more burdens on middle class families, small businesses and seniors like Republicans want to do." My father owns a small business employing under 20 people. He pays have his income in taxes while working from 5:30am to 8pm. I guess that is what democrats call fair.

    Democrats have failed to bring the budget under control and stimulate economic growth. Yes, some of Obama's policies have had a beneficial affect on our economy, but they haven't had enough kick to actually grow the economy. Facts don't lie: after Obama's 775 (not sure on exact figure) billion dollar jobs plan UNEMPLOYMENT ROSE.

    Employers don't want to hire right now because they don't want to put people on the payroll and dish out money for insurance and other benefits. They don't want to pay ridiculous taxes. They also know that, since our deficit is growing so rapidly thanks to out of control government spending, that they are uncertain about the future which also prevents them from hiring.

    At least the Republican critic in this article has facts to back him up rather than rhetoric and outward lies.

    November 16, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Jon in Rochester

    Unfortunately, most American's do have amnesia when it comes to this stuff and the Republicans know it. The Dems need to go on the defensive and remind them how we got into the mess in the first place. Bush did a great job of hiding the problem until it couldn't be swept under the rug anymore in the last few months before the 2008 election. I'll never forget the day that he announced the first bailout in September 2008, but there are a lot of people that don't and think that all of the bailouts happened under Obama. The Republicans are trying to rewrite history and the ill informed will fall for it.

    November 16, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    That's simply a fact. Obama is a spendthrift, and he stymies all efforts to rein in the spending.

    November 16, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Four and The Door

    In any discussion of America's current financial situation, you have to acknowledge the progress made by Speaker Boehner and the Republican House of Representatives this year. This includes reducing Obama and Harry Reid's original 2011 budget by $100 billion. That's progress today, not ten years down the road. And then when Obama needed to have the debt ceiling increased ( again ), he was determined to not have spending cuts as part of that work. Fortunately Speaker Boehner held his ground and a bipartisan commission is now formed to make significant cuts to improve our financial situation going forward. Americans can see clearly who makes progress and that's the Republicans that were elected in 2010.

    November 16, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. LegendRx

    Is this pansy guy, Reince Priebus for real? He is so lame. This guy is walking glass, his lies and purpose is so transparent. Who in their right minds would vote for the republican party. The right wing conservatives just baffles the mind. How do they allow their republican leadership to get away with raping, pillaging and blundering America? Break the chains and free your minds, you are no longer prisoners of the republican party. Let your hearts vote on behalf of your suffering fellow americans, the ones less fortunate. These are true and blue Christian values we can invest in. Period.

    November 16, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  6. Bob

    Mr Rancid Probiscus lies like a trooper. Typical Repuke, nothing but lies.

    The Repukes have done NOTHING but obstruct every solution offered, while braying CUT TAXES at the tops of their lungs.

    They have no solutions, only more failed tax cut crap that got us into this mess.

    November 16, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. KJ

    Is this article serious? Bush got blamed for deficits so why shouldn't Obama? Nobody said they are blaming poor old Bush for everything (including weather). These are liberal programs that the country can no longer afford. Anyone that reads the projections for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security can see that as more people retire, the budget deficits rise significantly. There are not enough taxes that can cover these costs. Unfortunately Democrats have backed themseves into a corner, because they need to scare the elderly to win elections, yet there isn't enough money in the country to pay for these programs and promises. I don't feel sorry one bit for Obama, especially after the way he critcized Bush for trying to solve the problem. I bet he now wishes that the liberals had let him fix these problems, instead of using them as a political hammer.

    November 16, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. Mark in Seattle

    Blame with no shame. That's the republican slime.

    November 16, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Americans can see clearly who makes progress and that's the Republicans that were elected in 2010."

    I (and my uterus) disagree.

    November 16, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  10. Russ in Md

    I wish you would all quit say that we had “2 unfunded wars” when the only hostilities against another country that was not funded was when Obama attacked Libya (I not say it was a bad thing but time will tell). Congress approved the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That makes them funded. Obama attack Libya on his own authority and never had congressional approval. In fact it was unconstitutional

    November 16, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Why not? Obama and the Democratic party has done nothing but play the blame game for over 3 years.

    November 16, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Ray E (GA)- you are not much into history. The bulk of the national debt is a result of Reagan and the Bushes. Republicans are the gift that just keeps giving to big oil, big banks, big corporations, billionaires, and Wall Street.

    November 16, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. stevie

    Obama, we are NOT better off now than we were 4 trillion dollars ago. Stop spending.

    November 16, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. AlaskaPalin

    If we cut spending what need is there for tax increase (to give the government more money to evolve new forms of spending)? Tax is regressive for it hurts not the rich but the unemployed and middle class.

    November 16, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. FLIndependent

    I will make a prediction that if one of these Repub/Tea Partier candidates wins the Presidency (heaven forbid!) that we will never again hear about deficits and spending. Wasn't it Cheney that said deficits don't matter?? Yes, we have way too much debt and there needs to be some common sense solutions to the problem but this will all be dropped if one of these clowns gets elected. Also, you have to wonder what John McCain would have done to stem the looming Depression – you can bet he would have had a stimulus also and that would have made him a hero, right?? Maybe the RNC is planning on spiking our food with something that causes amnesia so we will all forget the Bush years!

    November 16, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Russ in Md

    @KJ: Very well said.

    November 16, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. Blanks

    Articles like this make me happy I do not pay my fair share now – according to liberals. I pay a lot but I gladly spend money on tax planning every year to avoid as much as possible than send one more penny to our wasteful government. But don't kid yourselves even died in the wool liberals like Ted Turner write off their ariplane and ranch expenses just like a guy like me who would rather hoard it and give to selective charities with low overhead.

    November 16, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. keeth

    Because allowing Afghanistan to flounder for years in favor of spending money we didn't have in Iraq and keeping both wars off the country's financial books have absolutely nothing to do with the financial mess we're in now.

    November 16, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. K DOG

    Russ, killiing unions takes good paying jobs, that much less spending money is showing up in the economy, and its only getting worse, keep pandering to the rich and there will be no middle class to prey on, then watch yourseleves eat your own

    November 16, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |

    What else is new,.. the Republican strategy,.. is to stall, obstruct, lie, and blame somebody else. Vote them all out.

    November 16, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Lisa P

    "Paa-a-a-a-ay no attention to that irresponsible tax cut and those two unfunded wars behind the curtain..."

    - Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman of Oz

    November 16, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Noodle Nose Johnson

    Yeah good idea! Just don't mention that Iraq War thingy and I'm sure it's a winner! *rolls eyes*

    November 16, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  23. 1crusader

    If Priebus and Republicans were serious about solving the problem , they wouldn't be out , 1 week before the deadline, trying to make political hay out of this.The problems that we face right now aren't all about the debt.We've got to have real revenue to fix the economy, and the deficit; and Republicans have done everything in their power to block that. With the deficit, and the economy being in the serious state that they're in, why would they do that? Why would they oppose the things necessary to fix these problems?Politics and Ideology.

    November 16, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    Blame democrats wow

    We won’t forget what happen from 2001 to 2008

    November 16, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. AlaskaPalin

    As the population ages have we stop to think about the economic repercussions of a generation of 'abortions'? What spending power is lost? What scientific advancements are lost? What tax revenues are lost? What entrepreneurship is lost? What negative effect it has on social security and other retirement concerns? Ideas have consequences.

    November 16, 2011 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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