Straight-talking former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson says calls for him to run for president are “absurd” because “I have irritated more people than it could ever be imagined.” Simpson, who co-chaired President Barack Obama’s deficit commission with former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, did tell Fox News’ Neal Cavuto Wednesday that when he speaks about the nation’s economic crisis it is no “B.S.”
“When Erskine and I go around the country — and you have interviewed us both — you give us an hour with someone, we don’t do B.S., and we don’t do mush, and we tell them the story, and we tell them specifically what you have to do to save these four — big four — of Medicare, Medicaid, the solvency of Social Security, and defense, in some sensitive, stable way,” Simpson said. “And we get a standing ovation — we’re not looking for standing ovations, but people are so hungry for this.
“I will say this: The president really, really, really lost some credibility with me because . . . the fact he whacked on Paul Ryan all the time, and then talks about bipartisanship in the public, and then goes to a fundraiser and just tears old Paul to bits,” he said. “But I`ll tell you, to get up and talk — give a final talk on jobs and so on, and the economy, and never talk about the solvency of Social Security — that’s an absolute vacancy of leadership. You have got to do something with Social Security. In the year 2036, it will pay out 23 percent less. Isn’t this beyond comprehension?”
Cavuto noted that Simpson did anger politicians on both sides of the congressional aisle, by not only asking for entitlement reform but suggesting an increase in federal revenue, which many interpret as a call to raise taxes.
“When we say raise taxes, we don’t say that necessarily. We say if you get rid of these fake tax expenditures, which are tax earmarks, which are spending in the tax code — like Tom Coburn zeroed in, get $6 billion subsidy out of ethanol — and Grover Norquist calls it a tax increase,” Simpson said. “That is ludicrous — I call it deceptive.”
Cavuto asked whether there was any situation under which the 80-year-old former senator would consider a presidential run. A new Web ad, pushing Simpson to run for the White House, can be found on alsimpson2012.com.
“That is absurd — that really can’t be — you are a bright guy,” Simpson said. “You shouldn’t have even taken any bait like that — that’s nuts.
“In fact, I have irritated more people than it could ever be imagined,” he said. “I remember when I was touted for vice president under George Bush, a lovely friend . . . the first — I said: George, you don’t want me. I have alienated every special interest group in America. He said: No, there’s a couple that are still out there.”
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