Republican 2012 presidential candidates are offering their take on the debt-reduction deal announced by President Obama and congressional leaders. Here are their reactions:
- Ron Paul: "While it is good to see serious debate about our debt crisis, I cannot support the reported deal on raising the nation's debt ceiling. I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.
"This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years. But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem. In fact this bill will never balance the budget. Instead it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit. This also assumes the cuts are real cuts and not the same old Washington smoke and mirrors game of spending less than originally projected so you can claim the difference as a 'cut.'
"These difficult times require a President willing to stand against runaway spending. If elected, I will veto any spending bill that contributes to an unbalanced budget, and I will balance the the budget in the first year of my term."
- Newt Gingrich: "Avoiding default is not a solution to America's jobs and debt crisis. This agreement only sets the stage for an enormous amount of work going forward - well beyond the next two years - on how to create jobs, reduce government spending, return to balanced budgets and pay off our debt.
"If the ultimate result of this deal is a tax increase and/or debilitative cuts in our investment in national security, it will be a destructive failure. With so much work remaining to be done, this deal is yet another reminder of the urgent need to replace President Obama and his radical commitment to big government and higher taxes.
-Tim Pawlenty: "This deal is nothing to celebrate. Only in Washington would the political class think it's a victory when the government narrowly avoids default, agrees to further into debt, and does little to reform a spending system that cannot be sustained by our children and grandchildren. While no further evidence was needed, this entire debt ceiline fiasco demonstrates that President Obama must be replaced."
-Mitt Romney: "As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced - not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table. President Obama's leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama's lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal."
-Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota: "Mr. President, I'm not sure what voice you're listening to, but I can assure you that the voice of the American people wasn't the 'voice that compelled Washington to act.' It was you that got us into this mess, and it was you who wanted a $2.4 trillion dollar blank check to get you through the election. Everywhere I travel across the country, Americans want less spending, lower taxes to create jobs, and they don't want us to raise the debt ceiling.
"The President continues to press for a 'balanced approach,' which everyone knows is code for increased spending and taxes. Throughout this process the President has failed to lead and failed to provide a plan. The 'deal' he announced spends too much and doesn't cut enough. This isn't the deal the American people 'preferred' either, Mr. President. Someone has to say no. I will."
-Gov. Jon Huntsman: "While this framework is not my preferred outcome, it is a positive step toward cutting our nation's crippling debt."Because the legislation promises cuts commensurate with the debt ceiling increase, forces a vote on a much-needed federal balanced budget amendment and provides the only avenue to avoid default, I encourage members of Congress to vote for this legislation.
"While some of my opponents ducked the debate entirely, others would have allowed the nation to slide into default and President Obama refused to offer any plan, I have been proud to stand with congressional Republicans working for these needed and historic cuts. A debt crisis like this is a time for leadership, not a time for waiting to see which way the political winds blow."Going forward, I will aggressively advocate for a plan from the congressional committee that includes real cuts, entitlement reform, and revenue-neutral tax reforms -- without any tax hikes."The Republican members of Congress deserve tremendous credit for moving this debate to the forefront and at long last beginning to get Washington in line."