Obama Losing Sequester Fight? DNC Pushes Back Hard

A top spokesman for the Democratic National Committee is pushing back on the notion that President Obama is losing the battle of public opinion over the steep federal budget cuts known as “the sequester.”

DNC Communications Director Brad Woodhouse published a blog post Wednesday after The Washington Post ran a story that suggested the president was losing public opinion over the budget cuts and the economy.

The sequester is the name of across-the-board budget cuts which kicked in March 1 and were enacted as a sort of doomsday device as part of the 2011 budget deal.

Rather, the Post story indicates the opposite: that Americans are with Obama and the Democrats, Woodhouse says.

“Americans’ disapproval of congressional Republicans is a stunning 72 percent—their highest disapproval in more than a year, not coincidentally coming one week after the GOP-forced sequester began. Why is this? Because Republicans refuse to compromise to get anything done,” Woodhouse argues. “They refused to work with the President to find a solution that would have averted the sequester, and now the public is rejecting the indiscriminate across-the-board cuts Republicans chose over closing even one loophole that benefits the wealthiest. In fact, support for the Republican approach is dropping like a rock. In a WaPo-ABC poll prior to the sequester, 61 percent of Americans supported the cuts. Today, only 39 percent of Americans in the WaPo-ABC poll approve of them.”

Moreover, a whopping 71 percent of Americans disapprove of Republicans’ broader economic  proposals to cut Medicaid, and six in 10 oppose raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, as well, Woodhouse notes.

“Despite all this, Republicans have embraced the sequester and a cuts-only approach to addressing our fiscal challenges. Republicans have alternatively praised the sequester or attempted to downplay its effects: One Tennessee Republican representative, Marsha Blackburn, said she and her constituents were ‘relieved’ the sequester took place while Senator Rand Paul has said that the sequester, which could cost the country 800,000 jobs or more, is a ‘pittance,'” Woodhouse says. “Today’s poll shows Republicans are losing the argument on the sequester no matter which of those two messages, or any other, they trot out.”


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