White House: Republicans fighting over budget and debt ceiling are like terrorists, or something

As many wags on Twitter noted when this claim by senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer first floated to the surface, the Obama administration might want to steer clear of the terrorist references, especially when sending arms to a Syrian rebellion that seems to have actual bombs strapped to their bodies.  CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Pfeiffer why Republicans shouldn’t demand spending cuts in exchange for the CR and the debt-ceiling hike when more than six in ten Americans think that’s a reasonable approach.  Pfeiffer replied that demanding spending cuts in this process is like, er, terrorism:


Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said a U.S. debt default could be catastrophic. But President Barack Obama said Thursday he will not “not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America.” That is, no negotiating with Republicans.

Yet, the American people support, by a two-to-one margin, a requirement for spending cuts when negotiating more borrowing authority for the government to pay its bills, according to a new Bloomberg News poll.

The White House “is for cutting spending. We’re for reforming our tax code, for reforming entitlements,” said senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer.

“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest,” he added.

House Republicans are not asking for a negotiation, but rather demanding a hefty ransom, said Pfeiffer.

“It is not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, ‘Give me everything inside or I’m going to burn it down.’ The Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands,” he noted.

Does the WH believe that 61% of Americans support terrorism?  The Bloomberg poll linked above shows 61% of Americans supporting Republicans who want spending cuts in exchange for a debt-ceiling raise, “even if it risks default.”  Obama and his team had better pay attention to some of the other numbers in this poll, especially on approval ratings:

  • Overall – 45/49
  • Economy – 38/56
  • Foreign policy/US reputation – 43/51
  • Budget deficit – 29/61
  • Health care – 39/54
  • Working with House GOP – 39/46
  • Syria – 31/53

In fact, Obama is underwater in every measure, and well outside the margin of error except on overall approval.  The “refusal to negotiate” stance is getting especially old, with less than 40% supporting it.  Republicans aren’t looking like terrorists as much as Obama is looking like a petulant child — and this PR campaign is further proof of it.

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