2012 contenders point to President Obama for 'super' fail
November 21st, 2011
04:05 PM ET
10 years ago

2012 contenders point to President Obama for 'super' fail

(CNN) – As federal government braces for the impact of a super committee failure, GOP contenders for the 2012 presidential nomination lashed out at the president for setting the wheels in motion.

A Web video released by Newt Gingrich's campaign Monday replayed the former House Speaker's prediction this summer that the committee responsible for finding $1.2 trillion in budget savings was doomed.

Programming note: GOP presidential candidates face off at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday, November 22, in the CNN Republican National Security Debate in Washington, D.C.

"I think this super committee is about as dumb an idea as Washington has come up with in my lifetime," Gingrich said during a debate of Republican candidates in August.

"I used to run the House of Representatives, I have some general notion of these things," he continued.

"The idea that…12 of these brilliant people, mostly picked for political reasons are gonna sit in some room and brilliantly come up with a trillion dollars or force us to choose between gutting our military and accepting a tax increase is irrational," Gingrich argued.

Recommending that Congress "scrap the committee" and assign the task of finding savings to "every subcommittee," Gingrich said the task of cutting the deficit should be done "out in the open through regular legislative order and get rid of this secret, phony business" at the debate.

Three months later, the Web spot boasts, "Newt was right."

Members of the super committee are expected to announce Monday that the bipartisan group was unable to broker a deal in time to meet the deadline, set for Wednesday. In the event that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction does not reach a deal to cut spending by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years by Wednesday, spending cuts targeted for defense and other government agencies are triggered as a result of the agreement made between the president and House Speaker John Boehner during the summer. Congress will also vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment if the super committee fails, according to the deal between the president and Speaker Boehner.

Sunday, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney put the blame on Obama during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

"They're predicting that the super committee that was designed to try and find a way to cut spending and balance our budget, to find over a trillion dollars of spending over the next 10 years, that that committee looks like its headed for failure," he said, claiming that "some of the Democrats" said the president did nothing to help the committee along.

"He (President Obama) hasn't had any role, he's done nothing. It's another example of failed leadership," Romney charged.

"He has not taken personal responsibility to get this super committee to find ways to balance our budget and cut spending."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also faulted Obama for the committee’s expected failure.

"The whole reason a supercommittee was created was because the president wasn't willing to lead, wasn't willing to even put on paper his plans for cutting spending," Perry said in a statement Monday. "It's amazing to what lengths he will go to avoid making tough decisions."

Perry called on the president and Congress to work through the holidays until they reach a deal that would spare any cuts to the military.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul weighed in, as well, on the super committee's goal, calling the $1.2 trillion a "laughable" amount.

"In fact the Committee merely needs to cut about $120 billion annually from the federal budget over the next 10 years to meet its modest goals, but even this paltry amount has produced hand-wringing and hysteria on Capitol Hill," Paul said in a statement. "This is only cutting proposed increases. It has nothing to do with actually cutting anything. This shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems."

Instead, Paul argued that Congress should adopt the 2004 budget of $2.3 trillion next year.

"That's all it would take to produce a balanced budget right now," Paul said.

Filed under: 2012 • Deficit commission • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. BR

    Newt and Mitt:it's very easy to point fingers at Obama EVERY time you have no solution. the Super group has Republicans, too. I am suspicious of them because their agenda is not to do what's right for the U.S., it's to bring down Obama. this is not a legitimate agenda. They should resign.

    November 21, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Gregg Millis

    The voters can still fix this problem by voting out these republicans that signed this pledge that scares them into thinking that if they vote for taxes, they're out. Why let this nobody run our country into the ground because he got pledges signed and wields a money pot. Vote them out! Don't let the ads fool you. Write their names down and VOTE THEM OUT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!

    November 21, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  3. Andrew S

    What we lack these days are "statesmen" in Congress – the Ted Kennedys and Orrin Hatchs that worked out compromise deals behind the scenes and kept goverment working for America. All they see are their party lines, not the unemployment lines. Politicians are all independently wealthy and immune from the average American's pain. And we subsidize their benefits and pay! The system needs an overhaul...

    November 21, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. SPA Knight

    Instead of providing leadership, I think Obama was traveling for a campaign speech, another vacation in Hawaii or basketball game. What a cartoon character.

    November 21, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. jnuey

    obama cant help.... he is too busy fundraising.

    November 21, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  6. Keith in Austin

    How distorted the Liberal view has become. The mere comment that the GOP only cares for the upper "1 percent" clearly conveys the utter ignorance of so many. Quite hard to understand how that "1 percent" delivered a historic landslide victory for Conservatism in the 2010 elections isn't it? OVER-SPENDING and the Democrat ideology of buying votes via entitlement promises must cease! ALL AMERICANS are in the same boat right now and our future relies on exterminating the TAX-and-SPEND mentality that is suffocating our Nation!

    November 21, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. tykl

    Also, the blame of the economy on the Republicans is getting laughable. If somebody is still blaming Bush 3 years into a presidency, there is something majorly wrong with the person elected to right the ship. In terms of the current economic woes, just remember that before the Obama administration, there was no
    1. Tea party
    2. OWS
    3. Largest landslide midterms since 1946.
    Before you or the Obama administration criticizes the Republicans in Congress, just remember they were elected officials so you can't criticize them without criticizing the electorate (which Obama does to demonstrate how out of touch he is). Maybe you should recognize it for what it is, and that's the fact that the people voted and put in representatives and before whining about how you can't work with Congress, take stock of why the representatives are in Congress who are there. Obama may love his own ideas – it appears the rest of nation does not. We'll leave the answer to the American people in 2012.

    November 21, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. rob

    I agree with Newt, this was set up to fail right from the beginning. The "automatic cuts" called for in the event of the commitee failed are not scheduled to take effect untill Jan 2013 and will be changed in the interim. The sole blame for this mess falls at the feet of the President. He is the elected leader of the country and as such should have taken a LEADERSHIP role in these negotiations. But, the strategy of the administration is to take this failure and run for re-election against the "Do nothing congress" without forming a serious position or proposal to fix the problem.

    Sadly, the only winner of this circus will be the President himself if he is succesfully re-elected. Hows the Hope and Change working for us now?

    November 21, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. marinedad05

    The 'Super Fails' are Newt and Romney.

    Don't they get it yet? This is the sole responsibility of the Congress, and the president has only been trying to facilitate a deal.

    The GOP has sold it's soul to the Tea Party and Norquist.

    Shame on the GOP, we will remember your utter incompetence in 2012, and beyond.

    November 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Guy Salander

    Sorry I seem to be stupid and blind or is it just me. I am referring to all the GOP candidates this is the best they have to supposedly unseat our President. Sure tells the whole story of the Republican party.

    November 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. BRUCE

    Get ready PEOPLE........ The DEPRESSION YEARS are coming..........!!

    Bread Lines will come again, if they are not out there somewhere already....... WE have seen NOTHING, to what is going to happen.........

    November 21, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Even if the debt Committee did anything sensible getting it thru the Senate may be impossible. The Senate probably would pass any sensible decision but the Liberals are controlling the senate so nothing may get passed. So, it is on to the next election. As long as business is uncertain about regulations they are probably not going to do any hiring to speak of.

    November 21, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. Jeff

    Of course Republicans will blame the failures of congress on President Obama. If finding solutions to broken laws and domestic conflicts is the Presidents job, I have to ask what is the congressional role in government? This is pathetic. A 9% approval rating for congress is awful and its only going to get lower. President Obama is partly to blame also. He helped hand pick these loosers to do this job. We the people of America need politicians who represent us and our opinions. We will fight back with our voting ballots.

    November 21, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. CJ

    My question is are both parties willing to accept some of what they do not want in order to get a deal passed?

    Compromise is necessary.

    November 21, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. JOE

    Well, what's new with the GOP's assessment of things in Washington? There's a new Republican motto ant its called "blame Obama."

    November 21, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. Fair is Fair

    Rudy Says:

    "Thank-you epitomizing the liberal-held view that conservatives do not want the supercommittee to reach a compromise."
    Oh please. This is exactly what Obama wants... blame a "do nothing" congress as something, anything, to run on. His so-called accomplishments appeal to his base alone. The independents are abandoning him in droves. Desperation reeks.

    November 21, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. Larry L

    It looks like the Koch brothers win again. They used their wealth to manipulate the Tea Party radicals into undermining any chance at compromise, just like when America's bond value was downgraded. They hate our government and want it to fail. They've done more damage than the 9/11 terrorists and this will likely launch us into another deep recession.

    Remember: Bush issued the first bailout. Bush started two wars. The economy tanked before President Obama took office. The same Tea Party radicals are the very ones who voted for Bush – twice.

    November 21, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  18. Brad

    It blows my mind that people on here are still defending the president. Are you guys for real? The debt (not deficit, debt) went from 40% to 100% of GDP in the last THREE YEARS.

    Did Bush rack up debt also? Yes, far too much, and it was ridiculous. But Obama took what Bush did and multiplied it by 10. One crisis followed by government intervention leads to another, and another. Obama's medicine is obviously far worse than the disease, and now we're paying for it.

    So we go from 40% to 100% of GDP and the Democrats won't budge on spending? Give me a break, new taxes will only give them an excuse to keep writing blank checks. A painful balanced budget amendment is the only way at this point.

    November 21, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Publius Novus

    Mr. Romney and rob must know something we don't. I was under the impression that the Supercommittee was composed of 12 members of Congress. I didn't even know the president had a seat at the table!

    November 21, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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