Republican political consultant and former White House counselor Ed Gillespie tells Newsmax that House Speaker John Boehner should be credited for getting President Obama to finally confront his “deficit attention disorder” and agree to spending cuts.
Gillespie also says that by continuing to raise the federal debt ceiling the government is constantly asking the American people “to increase the max on our credit card.”
Gillespie, who helped draft the GOP’s 1994 “Contract with America,” served as White House counselor in the George W. Bush administration.
Prior to that he was chairman of the Republican National Committee.
With the battle in Washington now turning toward raising the limit on federal debt, Speaker Boehner is expected to seek substantial new budget cuts if Republicans are going to agree to raise the ceiling. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Gillespie was asked how Boehner should go about that.
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“I think by making the case that raising the debt limit cannot just be one more example of continuing to do what we’ve been doing,” Gillespie says.
“Obviously we need to confront the debt limit as it encroaches on our ability to borrow now, but it has to reflect to the American people a willingness to change business as usual so we don’t treat these debt limits as just routine.
“And I think that Speaker Boehner has been clear that if we’re going to pass a debt limit, the president is going to have to demonstrate to the American people a willingness to change course and stop treating the debt limit as just one more reason to increase the deficit. [He’ll have to] to demonstrate an ability to cut spending and to rein in federal spending so we’re not constantly coming back and asking the American people to increase the max on our credit card.”
Despite criticism from some in the tea party over spending cuts of only $38 billion, Gillespie maintains: “I think Speaker Boehner has done an excellent job of holding his caucus together. We you look at the debate between this year and just six months ago, this Congress has already cut more spending than any other Congress in history, and it’s only four months old.
“I can understand those who wanted to see more spending cuts. I would have liked to see more spending cuts. But I also think Speaker Boehner deserves immense credit for changing the nature of the debate and moving it toward a debate over our principles, conservative principles — how much should we cutting spending — as opposed to liberal principles — how much should we be raising spending — which was the nature of the debate just a year ago.”
Gillespie tells Newsmax that Democrats’ failure to pass a budget forced them to swallow “much more in spending cuts than they would have liked. Remember, President Obama proposed spending increases in his budget. Democrats were saying we cannot go this far in spending cuts, but they did at the end of the day because I think they understand the House Republicans had come in and passed a continuing resolution to fund the government in the wake of the Democrats’ failure, when they controlled Congress, to pass any budget at all.
“And President Obama was nowhere to be seen in this debate. In fact when it comes to the crushing debt that faces our country, President Obama has deficit attention disorder, an inability of focus on the massive amount of debt that threatens our future and our economy that his own policies are helping to create.
“But Republicans in the House were finally able to get his attention, get him to sit down and look at some spending cuts and to agree to some spending cuts, which just a year ago he would have opposed and probably vetoed.”
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