You take that back, Mr. President!
Republicans are lining up to throw punches at President Barack Obama.
The Democratic president has been trading verbal barbs with House Republican Leader John Boehner over economic and fiscal policy. Obama on Wednesday took several swipes at Boehner and charged that it was the Republicans who took the country into deficit when they were running things in Washington.
Boehner retorted that Obama should freeze all tax rates and cut “federal spending to where it was before all the bailouts, government takeovers, and ‘stimulus’ spending sprees.” Boehner is in line to become House Speaker if Republicans seize control of Congress in November elections.
Other Republicans also jumped in the fray. Boehner’s House Republican lieutenants Eric Cantor and Mike Pence issued statements backing Boehner, saying non-security spending should be cut to 2008 levels.
Then Cantor went further. He demanded that Obama take back one thing he had said — specifically, the president’s allegation that the Republicans have not offered specific spending cuts.
Cantor said that he personally had “sat across the table” from Obama and suggested ways to cut spending. Furthermore, he and Boehner had once sent a letter to Obama offering to work with him on spending cuts. And, House Republicans Jeb Hensarling and Paul Ryan had introduced a “Cut Spending Now” package that would save taxpayers $1.3 trillion.
Cantor huffed that Obama should “either clarify or withdraw the accusation that he made earlier today.”
All this when Congress isn’t even in session — lawmakers return next week from a long summer recess for a short fall legislative session.
Expect more political punches as mid-term elections near in November and Obama’s Democrats struggle to keep control of Capitol Hill.
Photo Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Boehner and Cantor after passage of stimulus Feb. 13, 2009)