Republican congressional leaders didn’t see too much of substance in President Barack Obama’s speech about the government’s debt burden Wednesday. What they did see was an effort to improve the president’s re-election chances, Politico reports.
After the speech, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
called Obama the “campaigner-in-chief.” The address “pour[ed] on the campaign rhetoric,” he said. "We’re looking for bipartisan solutions, not partisan rhetoric. Exploiting people’s emotions of fear, envy and anxiety is not hope, it’s not change -- it’s partisanship."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell feels the same way. “The President dedicated a significant portion of his speech today looking elsewhere for a culprit,” he said.
And House Speaker John Boehner said, “The president gave us more of the same, a partisan speech about the need for more spending, more taxing, and more borrowing.”
The partisan tone of the speech, undoubtedly meant to appease Obama’s left wing base, won’t make it easy for him to negotiate a bipartisan solution to the debt problem now.
Obama called for increasing taxes on the wealthy. He supports letting the Bush era tax cuts expire after next year for Americans with income of more than $200,000.
But Republicans promise they won’t even consider the idea of a tax hike.
The speech did nothing to advance the cause of a compromise solution between Republicans and Democrats, Boehner said. “More promises, hollow targets, and Washington commissions simply won’t get the job done,” he said.
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