President Barack Obama’s deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts and continue unemployment benefits was a surrender akin to that of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox, political analyst Dick Morris tells Newsmax.TV. The pact, which was dealt a setback Thursday when the House Democratic Caucus voted to reject it, could lead Democrats to launch primary challenges in 2012, Morris said.
“This is surrender — this isn’t an accommodation,” he said during the exclusive Newsmax interview. Obama is “not moving to the center, he’s fleeing to the center, and the White House is busy trying to dress it up as being . . . a compromise as he’s listening to both sides. But the Democrats have it right: This is a total rout and surrender. The other guy blinked.”
Perhaps more importantly for Obama, the compromise with congressional Republicans sets a precedent of retreat and surrender and hobbles his re-election chances, he said.
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“It begins to add to the element of weakness that I think is increasingly dominating his image,” said Morris, a Fox News analyst and Newsmax contributor.
The eventual fate of the compromise is uncertain because of the caucus’ rejection. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would continue “discussions with the president and our Democratic and Republican colleagues.”
However, she added, “Democratic priorities remain clear: to provide a tax cut for working families.”
Tuesday’s deal between the president and Republicans and the subsequent Democratic opposition planted seeds of opposition in the House and Senate that may ultimately grow to a primary fight for Obama, Morris said. He predicted that any challenge initially will come from Democrats on the fringe, such as Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio or recently defeated Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
However, should such an uprising gain traction, Morris said more credible candidates, such as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, might jump in the race.
Morris also accused President Obama of hiding “under the table” on the WikiLeaks scandal. Although Morris said he believes that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should go to prison for his role in the disclosure of the classified diplomatic cables, the real problem is what the cables revealed, such as using the diplomatic corps as an espionage force and the U.S. backing of a corrupt regime in Afghanistan.
Assange kicked over the rock and let us see what was under it, Morris said, adding you “don’t blame the guy who kicked it, blame what’s under the rock.”
On other topics, Morris said:
- The New STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty deserves a lot of scrutiny and consideration of it can wait until the new Senate convenes in January.
- The Democratic control of the Senate is illusory because key senators up for re-election in 2012 will side with the Republican minority.
- The Republican-controlled House will play chicken with Obama on a number of fiscal issues, such as spending cuts, taxes, and earmarks. “And we learned this week he is a chicken.”
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