McConnell said that his high-profile part in the deal that ended the shutdown and extended the debt ceiling had taken the air out of Grimes' message. "It steps on the whole narrative of her campaign, and so she's desperately trying to criticize something I was praised for by Harry Reid, among others," McConnell said.
The Grimes campaign fired back by noting a number of past remarks McConnell has made proudly proclaiming himself a "guardian of gridlock." A Grimes spokesperson said, "It is an embarrassment that McConnell waited until the 11th hour to stop the manufactured crisis that he and members of Congress created. It is not heroic for McConnell to do his job and reopen the government. Kentuckians now have to pay for McConnell's Washington dysfunction."
McCONNELL: The question is: Are we going to keep the commitment we made to the American people a year and a half ago, a bipartisan agreement signed by the president, that we would reduce spending without raising taxes by this amount of money in this fiscal year? This modest reduction of 2.4% in spending over the next six months is a little more than the average American experienced just two months ago, when the payroll tax holiday expired.
Q: You call this a modest cut, but it will cost about 750,000 jobs.
McCONNELL: By any objective standard, cutting 2.4% out of $3.6 trillion is certainly something we can do.
Q: Over a short period of time?
McCONNELL: The sequester was actually the president's idea. He knows that we were not going to raise taxes to achieve this spending reduction this year. The American people need to know that we have a spending addiction in Washington. We've added $6 trillion to the national debt in just four years.
McCONNELL: These last-minute deals are no way to run the government. These three issues are coming up: the sequester, the debt ceiling, and the continuing resolution to operate the government. Look, the biggest problem confronting the country is not taxes. It's spending. We don't have this problem because we tax too little; we have it because we spend too much.
Q: The president has said he's willing to engage in more discussions over the sequester and the government shutdown, but that would also include new revenues.
McCONNELL: The tax issue is finished, over, completed. Now the question is, what are we going to do about the biggest problem confronting our country and our future? And that's our spending addiction. It's time to confront it.
Q: You will not accept any new revenues in any new deal?
McCONNELL: Yeah, absolutely. The tax issue is behind us.
CONWAY: I support some of President Obama's agenda. The stimulus, 1/3 of it went to tax cuts. 1/3 of it went to keeping the jobs of police and firefighters. And 1/3 supposedly went to shovel-ready projects where the administration hasn't done that great a job. Actually, I wouldn't have voted for the bailouts. There weren't enough accountability in them. We had people getting bonuses after getting the bailouts. And on health care, look, we've got 654,000 Kentuckians getting health care for the first time as a result of this bill. What I'm not for, is the $2,000 deductible and taking our health care system back to a pre-World War II system, which is what Rand Paul's on the record as having said. So I'd like to fix health care. He wants to repeal it. And I think that's a stark difference.
PAUL: But here's the problem. You say you want new lending from small banks, but you support the banking regulation bill. The problem was with government banks--Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac--bad policy at the Federal Reserve caused the recession, caused the credit crunch. But yet Jack supports--President Obama supports--the new banking regulations, which every bank in Kentucky will tell you it wasn't our problem. No banks failed in Kentucky. But it's much harder to get a loan in Kentucky now.
|2012 Presidential contenders on Budget & Economy:|
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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