The chairman of the Democratic National Committee seized on televised comments made over the weekend by two top Republican lawmakers which appear to advocate a return to policies from George W. Bush.
“The men in charge of Republican campaigns made it crystal clear what Republican candidates plan to do if elected — take us backward,” says DNC Chairman Tim Kaine.
The chairmen of the Republicans’ congressional campaign committees each appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press program, where Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is quoted as saying, “We need to go back to the exact same agenda that is empowering the free enterprise system rather than diminishing it.”
Sessions heads up the National Republican Congressional Committee, the organization tasked with electing more GOP members to the House. Republicans this year are hoping to capitalize on a current anti-incumbent mood to defeat more than 39 House Democrats to retake control of the House.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs made news a week earlier on the same TV program for publicly acknowledging that Republicans could take control of the House in the November midterm elections.
Meanwhile, under extended questioning by Meet The Press moderator David Gregory on Sunday, Sessions’ Senate counterpart, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), could not identify any differences between the policies enacted under two Bush terms and those Republicans would advance if handed control of Congress.
“Pete Sessions‘ promise that Republicans plan to go back to the ‘exact same agenda’ that turned a record surplus into a record deficit and allowed Wall Street banks and insurance companies to ruin the economy, and John Cornyn‘s inability to name a single difference between today’s GOP and that same agenda, are more than revealing flubs. They are frightening prospects,” Kaine says.
“While President Obama and Congressional Democrats have taken bold action to turn the economy around and lay a foundation for long term prosperity, Republicans have promoted gridlock and obstruction — and now we know why — Republicans and their special interest allies want to return to the very policies from the Bush era and Republican rule that nearly sank our economy and cost eight million Americans their jobs,” he adds.
Top Democrats also appeared this week on Meet The Press to analyze the electoral environment, and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) laid blame for the woeful economy at the feet of Bush and congressional Republicans who controlled Congress until 2007.
“You know, but this will be a choice election because I know my Republican colleagues would like to have everybody forget that their candidates are on the ballot, but their candidates will be on the ballot,” the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee says. “And it’s not just talking about President Bush, it’s the policies that they espouse that are in essence Bush’s policies. Those led us to a 72 percent increase in the debt from $5.7 trillion to $9.8 trillion when Bush left. It led us to a massive elimination of the surplus that Bill Clinton gave George Bush, and he had a $1.5 trillion deficit when he left office. And so our Republican colleagues, who had their hands on the wheel and drove the car off the cliff into the Grand Canyon and the huge crater, don’t want to take responsibility. It’s time that they did.”
The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.