Capitol Hill Republicans relied on Senator Lindsey Graham to face off against Howard Dean and David Axelrod on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Graham offered some Monday morning quarterbacking about how President Barack Obama handled the past few weeks’ struggle over raising the debt limit and an impending default with international creditors.
“If President Obama were in the Southeastern Conference, he’d be fired as a coach,” quipped Graham.
Graham, who until recently was doubtful, even critical, of the Tea Party influence in Washington, defended the movement:
“Well if we’d listened to the Tea Party we’d have $4 trillion reductions in debt over time and not been downgraded. No, the tea party has come to Washington talking about reducing spending. Thank God they’re here. This is the first time we’ve ever raised the debt ceiling, where we tried to actually reduce spending. That’s a good thing, but we’re woefully short. The agreement fell well short of what the ratings agencies were looking at. The Tea Party hasn’t destroyed Washington, Washington was destroyed before the Tea Party got there. The hope is that the tea party and middle of the road people can find common ground to turn this country around before we become Greece. I hope we can.”
David Axelrod, advisor to the president, blamed the Tea Party for the Standard and Poor’s downgrade of the nation’s credit rating.
The Democratic Party and its president are lacking leadership, Graham charges, “Well, it’s one thing to talk on TV, it’s another thing to produce a budget. Paul Ryan produced a budget, people don’t like parts of it, but he had the courage to do it. I respect that. Democrat controlled Senate has never produced a budget in 830 days. The President of the United States produced a budget, it got zero votes in the United States Senate. The President’s biggest problem is he’s not leading. He’s a casual observer at a time when he needs to be fully engaged.”
Former Democratic party chair Howard Dean’s response: “You said President Obama would be fired…the truth is if this was a private corporation, President Obama would fire you all.”