GOP Hopefuls Rip into Obama on Downgrade and Economy
Policy + Politics

GOP Hopefuls Rip into Obama on Downgrade and Economy

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The debt ceiling debate, the lousy economy and jobs numbers, and now the S & P downgrade of the U.S. credit rating are framing the narrative for next year’s presidential election.  Speaking about the S & P decision, David Axelrod, a close advisor of the president, said on Face the Nation, “This is a Tea Party downgrade.”  Michele Bachmann called for the resignation of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Let the name calling continue.

Shortly after the first-ever S & P’s downgrade of the U.S.’s sterling credit rating last Friday Republican presidential hopefuls began attacking President Obama on his lack of leadership.   They were gearing up for a big week that includes a Republican candidates’ debate on Thursday and the Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday.

Partly in response to Democrats who called Republicans “terrorists” and “hostage takers” for refusing to accept tax increases during the debt ceiling debate, candidates fought back, accusing the Obama administration of failed policies in addressing America’s long term deficit and debt issues.  Here are excerpts from comments this weekend by GOP hopefuls.

Jon Huntsman:
“Out-of-control spending and a lack of leadership in Washington have resulted in President Obama presiding over the first downgrade of the United States credit rating in our history. For far too long we have let reckless government spending go unchecked and the cancerous debt afflicting our nation has spread. We need new leadership in Washington committed to fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget, and job-friendly policies to get America working again.”
Michele Bachmann:
“The United States has had a AAA credit rating since 1917. That rating has endured the great depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the terrorist attacks on 9/11. This president has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through his failed economic policies… 

“We were warned by all of the credit agencies that a failure to deal with our debt would lead to a downgrade in our credit rating. President Obama is destroying the foundations of the U.S. economy one beam at a time.

Newt Gingrich:
“The Obama disaster continues,” he wrote on Twitter. “Highest food stamp level and lowest credit rating in history in the same 24 hours.”

Mitt Romney:
“America’s creditworthiness just became the latest casualty in President Obama’s failed record of leadership… His failed policies have led to high unemployment, skyrocketing deficits, and now, the unprecedented loss of our nation’s prized AAA credit rating… President Obama promised that ‘things will get better.’ But it has become increasingly clear that the only way things will get better is with new leadership in the White House.”

Herman Cain:
“On Tuesday, April 19, 2011, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner promised that America faced ‘no risk’ of a credit downgrading… [Now] he is proven shamefully wrong… Perhaps this is because the Obama administration and congressional Democrats never once demonstrated a willingness to propose its own ideas for meaningful spending cuts…

This is a country known for dreamers and innovators, for thinkers and doers. Now, we are a nation living in fear… Such a rating is unfitting of the greatest and most prosperous nation the world has ever known. And such a weak leader is, as well.”

Ron Paul:
“If Washington refuses to take heed, there is little cause for optimism. Growing inflation, rising gasoline and food prices, and trillion-dollar budget deficits will all soon seem like minor issues if our nation does not immediately change our monetary and spending policies. We must take bold actions to reduce out-of-control government spending, and get the federal government out of the way of small business and entrepreneurs.

Rick Santorum:
“There are 14 million people out of work and looking to the White House for answers – but they are receiving nothing but a blank stare. The markets are scared…  It’s time to show the world that the United States has the fortitude and resolve to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to stop out of control spending and shrink the scope of government once and for all…

Tim Pawlenty:
“It’s time for a new direction and a new president… The S&P downgrade blemishes our free republic’s revolutionary experiment in liberty and self-government; consequently, it heartens tyrants and terrorists.”

Gary Johnson:
“Losing our AAA credit rating is obviously bad… Everyone from our largest creditor, China, to the 14 million Americans who are unemployed get the simple reality that a $14.6 trillion debt is unsustainable. They also get that simply raising our credit limit is not an economic policy and certainly not a solution. Washington can dance around reality all they want, but there is only one way to get us off the path toward financial disaster: Enact real spending cuts now, not ten or twenty years down the road, and balance the budget.”