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Obama’s Failure To Lead On Bowles Simpson

RNC Communications - December 1, 2011

One year ago today, Bowles-Simpson released its report, and in another example of failed leadership, President Obama ignored the commission’s recommendations. Below is a reminder of what Democrats and reporters have said about Obama’s abandonment of the commission.


Warren Buffet Said It Was An “Absolute Tragedy” That Obama’s Fiscal Commission Was Ignored. CNBC’S BECKY QUICK: “So is that an argument for a tax code that is stripped down the way Simpson and Bowles laid out?” WARREN BUFFETT:  “Well it – you go back to what, you know, Kemp-Roth and all that that too that they were working on that. I think what happened with Simpson-Bowles was an absolute tragedy. I mean here are two extremely high-grade people. They have somewhat different ideas about government but they're smart. They're decent. They’ve got good senses of humor, too. They're good at working with people. They work like a devil for ten months or something like that. They compromise. They bring in people as far apart as Durbin and Coburn to get them to sign on and then they're totally ignored. I think that's a travesty.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 11/12/11)

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “I Think, In Retrospect, The President Probably Should Have Embraced [Bowles-Simpson].” (KSNV’s “Face To Face,” 8/30/11)

Fiscal Commission Co-Chair Erskine Bowles Believes It Was Obama’s Political Team—“Those Chicago Guys”—That Convinced Obama To Ignore Their Recommendations. “So we were really surprised. My belief is that most of the members of the economic team strongly supported it. Like every White House, there's a small cabal of people that surround the president that he trusts and works with, and I believe it was those Chicago guys, the political team that convinced him that it would be smarter for him to wait and let Paul Ryan go first, and then he would look like the sensible guy in the game.” (John Bussey, “And Now A Word From The Commissioners,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/11)

The New York Times’ Tom Friedman Says Obama Walked Away From Simpson Bowles Because Of “Pure Politics.” “The President’s walked away from his own deficit commission. I think if he came back to it…” MITCHELL: “How does he walk back to it now? And do you understand how he abandoned it? Because many people feel that that was a turning point.” FRIEDMAN: “Well, I think pure politics.” (MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 11/28/11) 

MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell: “Where’s The Presidential Leadership On What Is Really Driving Our Deficits?” (MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” 2/14/11)


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