White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday trained his fire on the Tea Party, blaming “one element” of the Republican party for Standard and Poor’s mid-August downgrade of U.S. credit worthiness.
In response to a a question about why support for President Obama is slipping among Latino voters, Carney readily acknowledged that approval ratings for both Obama and Congress have fallen sharply this year as Americans have grown increasingly disgusted by the brinksmanship between the two parties, which was on vivid display during the mid-summer debt crisis.“I certainly don’t think Latino Americans are different than any other Americans who are frustrated with what they are seeing out there and frustrated with Washington and the kind of dysfunction we saw most vividly over the summer when one element of one party of the House of Representatives basically drove us to the brink and put at risk and raised the possibility that the United States of America would default on its obligations for the first time in its history,” Carney said, referring to the Tea Party.
“That is a case of the tail wagging the dog and it’s certainly not helpful and productive to the American people,” he added.
Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), immediately picked up on the remark and tweeted a response blaming the White House for insisting during the summer negotiations on a clean debt-limit increase, which he deemed “a guaranteed rating loser.”
“Carney at podium blaming ‘1 party’ for AAA rating loss. Fails to recall that WH wanted clean debt limit increase, a guaranteed rating loser,” Dayspring tweeted.
During the briefing Carney insisted that Obama is the only one with a plan that would boost the economy by creating jobs immediately. Even though the Senate failed to pass the President’s job package in its entirety Tuesday night, Carney stressed that a majority of the Senate voted in favor of the bill, which Republicans unanimously opposed.
While the White House is working with Senate Democratic leaders to roll out pieces of the package for individual votes, Carney said Obama would not be satisfied with just some of the components of the bill becoming law. All of the pieces need to pass to have a “collective impact on the economy,” he said.