Published July 13, 2011
GOP Proposal Sets New Tone in Debt Talks
"Listen, I understand Mitch's frustration, you know, because we're all frustrated by where we are. And Mitch, I think, pointed out that this was -- his idea is if we can't get there, none of us believe that we ought to default on the full faith and credit of the United States government."
-- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in an interview on Special Report w/ Bret Baier talking about Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposal to give President Obama control of incremental debt ceiling increases.
Congressional leaders will again meet with the president at the White House on Wednesday, marking the fourth meeting in the last four days in which they try to hammer out a large-scale deal to cut the federal budget and raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
But after a day that featured harsh public rhetoric that had Boehner calling the debt ceiling the president’s problem and McConnell saying there wouldn’t be a solution as long as Obama is in office, a more collegial and productive White House meeting broke out in the afternoon and lasted nearly two hours. And soon after, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., offered a backup plan.
Despite McConnell’s proposal that would give Obama new authority to raise the debt limit but would allow Congress to disapprove and make spending cuts after the fact, sources inside Tuesday’s White House meeting say Obama continues to push for a grand debt and deficit plan. But those same sources say there are still major disagreements that have been tabled so the group can work on the building blocks of a deal.
With the Treasury Department’s August 2 deadline looming, it will become more imperative to stop kicking those cans down the road as the daily meetings continue. President Obama said in a CBS Evening News Interview he couldn’t guarantee Social Security checks would go out on August 3 if an agreement isn’t reached and with Democrats making such public statements, there’s no doubt the clock is ticking, if only in the minds of Americans.
Boehner told Special Report anchor Bret Baier that it’s too early in the process to be making predictions about what happens on August 3.
“[Y]es, there are some debts that have to be rolled over. But there's going to be money available on August the 3rd. And I think it's way too early to be making some types of -- of veiled threats like that,” Boehner said.
Obama Campaign Raises $86 Million in Second Quarter
“Globally, we raised more than $86 million, more than $47 million for Obama for America and more than $38 million for the DNC.”
-- Obama campaign manager Jim Messina in a web video announcing second quarter fundraising totals.
If there is any question the 2012 election will be the most costly ever, one needs only to look at the Obama campaign’s second quarter fundraising totals.
The campaign set a goal of raising $60 million and it passed that on the way to a new quarterly record of more than $86 billion, far more than the Republican field combined. The amount may be an indication of how difficult the Obama camp believes it will be to get the president reelected.
In a web video, campaign manager Jim Messina touts the gaudy numbers but adds he is more proud of the large group of contributors that numbers more than 500,000. He praised the campaign’s network of community organizers and grassroots fundraising while claiming Republican candidates will be taking money from political action committees and other undisclosed donors.
But the RNC used the huge fundraising total to hit the president on the economy and said it illustrates a lack of presidential priorities.
“It’s obvious that despite his claims that he's focused on creating jobs, it’s clear his priority is saving his own,” the RNC said in a statement. “We always knew Obama would raise the first billion dollar campaign and he's going to need every penny of it to defend his abysmal economic record that has left millions of Americans without jobs.”
Mitt Romney led the pack of Republican candidates in the quarter, raising just shy of $20 million. Several other GOP candidates raised around $4 million each.
RNC Fires Back With Fundraising Video of Its Own
"America must change direction!"
-- Title of a RNC web page seeking donations to help defeat Obama in 2012.
As the Obama campaign touted its astronomical fundraising effort in the second quarter, the RNC released a new web video that hearkens back to some old Obama promises.
The video and web page called “Change Direction” point back to the president’s nomination speech from August of 2008 at the Democratic National Convention in Denver and compares them with the headlines of today.
“You see, we Democrats have a different measure of what constitutes progress in this country,” Obama says in the clip from his speech. “We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage.” The video continues by showing images of foreclosed homes, adding text that says “6 million more foreclosures.”
The Obama administration has often argued that the economy had lost millions of jobs before the president ever took office.
But couple the latest RNC video with a bevy of recent video releases from all sides and add in the Obama campaign’s $86 million fundraising haul, and it’s safe to say fundraising efforts for 2012 have risen to a new level.
And Now, A Word From Charles
"Whether he has to actually withhold those checks or not is a moot point. As long as he threatens it, it will scare the hell out of any Republican anyway."
-- Charles Krauthammer on Special Report w/Bret Baier talking about President Obama’s comment that he doesn’t know whether Social Security checks will go out on August 3 if a debt ceiling agreement isn’t reached by August 2.
Chris Stirewalt is taking some time away from Power Play this week but will return on Monday, July 18.
***Today on “Power Play w/ Chris Stirewalt”: Juan Williams talks with Rep. Pete Olsen, R-Texas, and former New York Senator Al D’Amato. Tune in at 11:30 am Eastern at http://live.foxnews.com/ ***