LaTourette: Growing sense in GOP that Obama 'has won this round'
December 6th, 2012
10:06 AM ET
10 years ago

LaTourette: Growing sense in GOP that Obama 'has won this round'

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio said Thursday he's starting to see more openness among House Republicans for the president's pitch to raise tax rates on the top 2% of income earners.

The nine-term congressman, who's retiring in January, said he noticed a turning point on Wednesday when Republicans held their weekly meeting with House Speaker John Boehner–but he added Democrats need to meet them in the middle, too.

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"The sense was that there's a growing number of folks in our party that are saying, you know what, the president has won this round relative to the rates, but we need to you to sit down and get the second half of the deal and that's the spending," LaTourette said on CNN's "Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien."

At issue is a disagreement over the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire for all Americans at the end of the year. Republicans want to renew the tax breaks for everyone, while Democrats call for letting them expire on income over $250,000 for families so that rates return to higher levels of the Clinton era.

Known as a center-right Republican, LaTourette has been circulating a letter with some Democrats urging leaders of both parties to give some ground on their sticking points, rather than stay entrenched on opposing sides of the battle line.

Boehner acknowledged Wednesday that Republicans have already ceded territory by agreeing to put revenue on the table in the deficit-reduction negotiations.

But multiple polls show public support favors the Democratic position, and Obama has ramped up efforts to put pressure on Congress through voters, businesses and labor leaders. The White House firmly stands by its stance that it's willing to let the economy go over the fiscal cliff-letting tax rates go up for everyone–and shift the blame onto Republicans if no deal is reached.

Several GOP senators have said they're ready to let the tax cuts expire on the wealthy, and LaTourette added Thursday he thinks his own party will likely take the same path.

The Ohio congressman also defended members on Capitol Hill as many head home for a long weekend. He said it's ultimately up to Boehner and Obama to cut a deal, adding there's only so much the individual lawmakers can do in the debt talks.

"We have engaged in some charades over the last 18 years, where we all like pretend to be working in our office, but we're not doing anything to get this done because there's nothing we can do," he said. "This is going to be a discussion between the top leaders of the House and the White House.

"And when they signal, sort of like the pope being elected, you know when the white smoke comes out of the Capitol, then we can come back and execute the deal," he added.

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Dana Bash, and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • House • Ohio • Republicans
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. KC Yankee

    The GOP made a colossal political miscalculation when they maneuvered the contrivance that became known as "The Fiscal Cliff" into place during the contrivance known as "The Debt Ceiling Crisis". They were certain they would be able to rig the election successfully so that by the time this deadline came, they would be dealing with President Romney (Grover Norquist would simply hold his hand while the two of them dragged the pen over the already rubber-stamped documents that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts and completely eviscerate social safety net programs.)

    The GOP assumed they were smarter than President Obama. Continuing to regard him in this way will result in further political losses down the road.

    December 6, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. rs

    Given that:
    78% of Americans think legislators pledging to lobbyists (like Mr. Norquist) is a bad idea;
    That almost 70% think retrurning to pre-Bush tax rates for the wealthy make sense;
    That austerity hasn't significantly reduced debt in European nations, but returned the recession,
    it seems the GOP has figured out they lost. So, as a group, not only are they hyper-radicalized, they are now slow learners too? They are starting to be more trouble than they are worth.
    Maybe in a decade or two they'll even figure out war in Iraq while cutting taxes was a bad idea as well.

    December 6, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. Gregory M. Newbold

    Mr. Obama won when he won the election. He caimpagned on the clear choice Americans faced between his vision & Mitt Romney`s.

    The president said I`m going to build a two-story house, the people agreed. The GOP is demanding that the house be one-story, totally disrespect the will of the people AND the authority and EXECUTIVE deference Americans expect for a President who was so recently affirmed. Drop the shovel GOP`ers and PICK UP A HAMMER climb the ladder and start building the 2nd story of the house.

    How can Americans trust the competence & judgement of Republicans on fiscal matters? Raising tax rates a few point will not kill the economy. The constaint teeth nashing over something so simple will though, Didn`t the GOP learn anything from the debt ceiling debacle? Are they stupid?

    They don`t deserve to CALL THE SHOTS. The lost the election and they have no credibility as experts based on 30 years of failed voodoo, trickle-down economics.

    Perhaps if the could acccept that the black guy is a erudite leader with a strong capable team, they`d stop embarassing themselves.

    December 6, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    He is winning more than that. He is going to succeed, in taking control of the government from the Congress. He is going to become a true dictator.

    December 6, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. BlkPwr817

    The time for making President Barak Obama a 1 term president has come & gone. The GOP lost the election by a land slide. You would think they would be on board with the President & the rest of the country now. Guess they still dare to be diffrent huh? Fact is that the GOP need to change from the inside out. Thier angle of hate & divide doesn't work in todays world. The Dems developed a backbone this past November, I hope they stay strong & keep fighting for the American people. Not 47% of them, but ALL of us...

    December 6, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Pete

    Republicans and outsiders are seeing the obstructionistic party cave in to Pres.Obamas pressure..They know the President has the upper hand in changing things till he leaves and with the republicans looking unfavorable since his inaugeration in both houses and midterms coming up they know there'll be a big change a coming so they'll work to keep the collateral damage to a minimum...So republican signees even going against their pledge by Norquists knowing if they don't cooperate they won't be there to worry about Norquists retaliation will they!!Do what's best for America or leave,the choice is yours!!

    December 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Cam

    Americans are in desperate need of a wake-up call. We need to go off the fiscal cliff ASAP. Howard Dean wants everyone to pay higher taxes, so be it.

    December 6, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. Hillcrester

    The end game spproaches. The GOP Queen hes been captured, and the King is cornered.

    December 6, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  9. Over the hill

    Well duh! All polls indicate that the people want the wealthiest to pay more in tax's and after all, our congressman only look at polls. Playing this little wait and see game is still going to end up biting them in the rear come 2014. The people are tired of the games being played on capitol hill.

    December 6, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Evergreen

    Are they going home early without pay? Do they realize that, according common work standards, that if you work part time you are not entitled to benefits like healthcare, pension, paid vacation,etc. Why can't they live by the same standards?

    December 6, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Observer

    Yeah use smoke signals, because its obvious you jack*sses can't talk to each other, so your like the Cardinals in the catholic church eh, I don't think you should really make that comparison. Although it might not be that big a stretch come to think about it. Oh page boy, Oh page boy

    December 6, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  12. Joey

    So the public likes Obama bill, it has already passed the Senate and is ready for The House, but you are still crying about spending, but what spending?? like really just saying spending don't help me understand your stance, but the President has "one upped" you, give it up and move on! GEEEZZZ

    December 6, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Old Salt

    Y'think? What gave it away? Could it have been the election returns? Nothing gets past those Republicans, does it?

    December 6, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. Chuk

    Right wing Republicans will finally see the light. Ideological change takes time. Besides, Grover Norquist has to convince his backers that he did put up a fight. How else could he keep his funding? And this time, the hand writing is on the wall that all this smokescreen PACs will finally be broken, thank goodness.

    December 6, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. ShawnDH

    Well duuuuuh. Of course Obama won / is winning this round. Obama just won a national election campaigning on raising tax rates on the top 2% of income earners and Republicans have no leverage here.

    December 6, 2012 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  16. Randy, San Francisco

    The outcome of the fiscal issue will determine if the GOP/Tea Party is for 100% of Americans or only for 2% of wealthiest Americans. If the GOP/Tea Party is serious about change and rebranding itself, it should seek avenues of compromise.

    December 6, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Look in 2010 rupublicans won that battle. Now it looks as if Obama, is wining this, this taxing the rich a republican myself i dont want taxes going up on anyone. with that being said, Im not in the top 2% so i expsect my republican house to what they have to do in order to keep my taxes low.

    December 6, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    These republicans come to their senses when they're on their way out of the door.

    December 6, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. plain&simple

    The truth has been spoken. Congress needs more not less of these practical leaders.

    December 6, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  20. Bill from GA

    " we need to you to sit down and get the second half of the deal and that's the spending "

    No republican has the guts to actually give details on the spending cuts needed to meet their plan. The Ryan budget was rejected by most sensible Americans (yeah, I know, it passed the Republican House, but I said 'sensible Americans'). Even Newt Gingrich called it a radical step toward right-wing social engineering.

    December 6, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Anthony in California

    Yeah, and Republicans are finally starting to get the "growing sense" that Obama won the Presidency as well....

    President Obama has been playing chess, while the Republicans were playing checkers.

    December 6, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  22. Bill from GA

    Republicans also need to get on board Obama's small stimulus package ($50B or so) and help get the economy moving faster. Spending on infrastructure is a good plan, and needed, if done sensibly.

    Give Obama what he wants, and if it doesn't work, repubs can TRUTHFULLY blame him. Not that the truth seems to have any value among republicans.

    December 6, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Rhonda Selser

    I am an independent and what I see is that THE ONLY WAY to begin paying on the debt that all this spending has caused is if EVERYONE's taxes are raised. That is the goal of both parties, especially the Democrats. The Republicians don't want to contribute a from those who can afford to live less largely and the Democrats want to increase spending that only helps them!! And Neither side wants to get in the boat with us by linking the ENTITLEMENTS they have given themselves (congressional benefits like retirement). Our boat is sinking but they don't have a thing to worry about for they have made sure they are cared for first.

    December 6, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. Wake up People!

    Duh! Actually President Obama won the entire match when he was reelected. You should have seen the inevitable coming that night. But you and your party of lunatics couldn't see the forest for the trees. Just determined to fight the POTUS about any and everything. Well you are out of ammunition. Your #1 goal in making him a one term POTUS FAILED big time, he no longer has to try and please everyone for fear of not being reelected.

    You all lied on him, called him every name in the book, and disrespected him at every turn. I am now looking forward to him being the angry black man you all accused him of being!

    That's right Mr. President, show em what you're working with!

    December 6, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  25. anonoymous

    Why cant this be about the people? Im tired of lawmakers making this about a win for Mr Obama or a win for the gop. Real people are behind these diecisions. Stop playing games do what the people voted for and tell the unelected critics to go to......

    December 6, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |