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Obama Told IA Paper He Wanted The Sequester

From the archives of the Politico:

D.C. caught off guard by Obama sequester vow

By: Philip Ewing | October 23, 2012

President Barack Obama startled Washington during Monday night’s [October 22] foreign policy debate when he said billions in automatic Pentagon cuts “will not happen" — a line that could weaken his bargaining power during an epic spending and tax fight expected when Congress returns.

Obama was responding to criticism from Republican rival Mitt Romney that American national security is at risk if the defense cuts are triggered in early January.

"First of all, the sequester is not something I proposed, it’s something that Congress proposed," Obama said. "It will not happen."

Count the number of lies in those two sentences. Obama did propose the sequester. Congress did not. And it will happen.

In fact, Obama went on to claim:

"The budget that we’re talking about is not reducing our military spending. It’s maintaining it."

But the very next day, Obama told the editors of the Des Moines Register a completely different story. In that exchange he praised the sequester. And said that the sequester, in combination with the end of the Bush tax cuts, would be the equivalent of the grand bargain he had been offering the Republicans for years.

Here is the relevant excerpt from the Des Moines Register’s ‘interview,’ via City Watch LA:

What Obama Told The Des Moines Register

23 Oct 2012

Question: Mr. President, we know that John Boehner and the House Republicans have not been easy to work with, and certainly you’ve had some obstacles in the Senate, even though it’s been controlled by the Democrats. At the time, whenever — we talked a lot about, in 2008, hope and change. I’m curious about what you see your role is in terms of changing the tone and the perception that Washington is broken. But particularly, sir, if you were granted a second term, how do you implode this partisan gridlock that has gripped Washington and Congress and basically our entire political structure right now?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Rick, let me answer you short term and long term. In the short term, the good news is that there’s going to be a forcing mechanism to deal with what is the central ideological argument in Washington right now, and that is: How much government do we have and how do we pay for it?

So when you combine the Bush tax cuts expiring, the sequester in place, the commitment of both myself and my opponent — at least Governor Romney claims that he wants to reduce the deficit — but we’re going to be in a position where I believe in the first six months we are going to solve that big piece of business.

It will probably be messy. It won’t be pleasant. But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in spending, and work to reduce the costs of our health care programs.

And we can easily meet — “easily” is the wrong word — we can credibly meet the target that the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction, and even more in the out-years, and we can stabilize our deficit-to-GDP ratio in a way that is really going to be a good foundation for long-term growth. Now, once we get that done, that takes a huge piece of business off the table…

In sum, two weeks before the election, Obama lied about the sequester on national TV. Probably because he needed the ‘defense related’ votes in the swing states. The next day he told what he thought was a group of friendly media people the truth.

Lest we forget, Obama demanded that this interview not be printed. But the Des Moines Register publicly complained, and so Obama eventually had to relent and allow them to publish their exchange. (It’s no longer on their website, however.)

But, some may recall, eventually the Des Moines Register surprised everyone by endorsing Mitt Romney.

And yet no one in the media has ever called him on his various lies. Not then, not now.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 1st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Obama Told IA Paper He Wanted The Sequester”

  1. captstubby says:

    That’s funny. Wasn’t he pointing the other way?
    [points both ways] Of course, some people do go both ways.

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