The Republican argument for not raising the debt ceiling is so weak that President Obama destroyed it in 10 sentences during his press conference today.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I mean, think about it. The only reason that the Republicans have held out on negotiations up until the last week or so is because they thought it was a big enough deal that they would force unilateral concessions out of Democrats and out of me. They said so. They basically said, you know what? The president’s so responsible that if we just hold our breath and say we’re going to threaten default, then he’ll give us what we want, and we won’t have to give anything in return. That’s not — again, that’s not my account of the situation. You can read statements from Republicans over the last several months who said this explicitly.
And — and so for them now to say, well, it wouldn’t be a big deal if it — if it happens — that’s now how they’ve been acting over the last couple of months. And if it’s not a big deal, then why would I give them concessions now to avoid it? It is a big deal. And nobody should be getting concessions for making sure that the full faith and credit of the United States is retained.
The president summed up the contradiction that is at the heart of the Republican position. How can Republicans expect Obama to give them unilateral concessions when they are also arguing that the debt ceiling is no big deal? If the debt ceiling really wasn’t a big deal, why would Republicans expect the president to give them anything? Much like everything else surrounding the Republican argument, this makes no sense.
Republicans know that the debt ceiling is a big deal. That’s why Boehner and company are sweating the fact that Obama keeps saying no. Obama was right. Republicans completely misread the situation. They thought they could huff and puff, and the president would rush in to give them what they wanted.
The reason why Republicans are taking a drubbing in the polls is that the American people don’t agree with what they are doing. The GOP has not been able to make the case that the ACA is worth shutting down the government over. Republicans continue to lose support in each poll, and their only answer is to continue to blame Obama and Reid.
President Obama turned up the heat on the Republicans with this press conference, but even more importantly, he made a common sense argument that Republicans have no answer for. Republicans are losing so badly that it only took 10 sentences (11 in the total transcript) for the president to lay waste to their argument.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association