Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) Tuesday rejected the notion that tea party Republicans’ brinkmanship and refusal to raise taxes contributed to S&P’s decision downgrade U.S. credit.
Both Obama adviser David Axelrod and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) had referred to S&P action as “the tea party downgrade” Sunday.
“If it wasn’t so pathetic, I mean, it’s almost comical,” Walsh told CNN’s Kyra Phillips. “We were told months ago that a downgrade was likely, because this economy is falling off a cliff, and we have a debt crisis. That’s all on the door of the president. His policies are responsible for this. And for him here at the last minute, him and his minions, to trot out this thing called the tea party downgrade, is comical, and it won’t work, because most Americans see right through it.”
When he asked to explain why congressional approval was at an all-time low, Walsh again attacked the president.
“This president never ceases to not provide leadership. Why is he focused on name calling now?” the congressman wondered.
“But this downgrade has happened because of how the debt deal turned out,” Phillips noted. “It is a reaction to what happened among lawmakers during the debt deal. So, are you saying that the trillions of dollars that have been lost now in the stock market, you know, has been worth all that back and forth and that bickering? I mean, is partisan politics helping this country move forward at all?”
“Kyra, folks in the market are a lot smarter than you and I are,” Walsh insisted. “It had nothing to do with an August 2 deadline. It had to do with our debt crisis. We’ve known about this for ages. And I got to tell you something, thank God for all these troublesome House Republicans who came to this town. Can you imagine what life would be like if we hadn’t? We would have raised the debt ceiling without thinking about it last February or March. We’d be spending money every single day. We would have been downgraded months ago.”
“These House Republicans have forced this town to finally get serious about spending. That’s a good thing.”
Watch this video from CNN’s Newsroom, broadcast Aug. 9, 2011.