Key aides from the Clinton administration contend that President Barack Obama just didn’t communicate well during the debt-ceiling negotiations and that he should have borrowed from President Bill Clinton’s playbook.
Republicans, many of whom have declared that they won in the debt ceiling deal that Obama signed into law last week, started framing the debate when the new Congress convened in January, the former Clinton aides told The Hill
, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid recriminations.
“Clinton had a different approach on strategic messaging. I think there are things that he did differently than Obama that might have worked better,” The Hill quotes one former Clinton staffer as saying.
Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke opposed tying deficit reduction to raising the federal debt level, the aides noted. Congressional Democrats echoed that call, but their efforts proved fruitless as Republicans effectively brushed it aside.
A former administration official told The Hill that it was “problematic” that the White House failed to challenge the argument that tied cutting spending to reduce the deficit and raising the debt ceiling.
“The tea party folks were able to establish a linkage, almost unchallenged, between deficit and debt ceiling, which is problematic and when it was finally joined, there was no attempt to delink them – a manufactured link up in this dynamic,” the official said.
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