Jansing and Co | May 16, 2012
>>> good morning, i'm chris downtown, smack in the middle of harsh new political rhetoric over the economy. the president has invited constitutional leaders to the white house for lunch. he will host mitch mcconnell to talk about the economy and what can get done this year, don't get your hopes up just yet, speaker boehner is setting up another fight over the debt ceiling.
>> if a president continues to put politics before principal, or party before -- our economy is going to suffer. and we'll miss our last chance to solve this crisis on our own terms.
>>> richard wolf is an msnbc political analyst , and the senior editor for the national review , good morning, gentlemen.
>> good morning, chris.
>> interesting timing, because just moments ago mitt romney was speaking in st. petersberg, florida and he has a debt clock behind him.
>> it's like looking out across the prairie and seeing a fire in the distance. at a stage like that, you don't say, well, i'm going to go to bed and maybe someone else will take care of it. we need a president who will stop the this spending inferno and i will.
>> the president's also been talking about this, it's a big problem and it's one that's right at the heart of the election campaign , along with one that's obviously jobs and the economy and the connection between the two has got to be played out. it's interesting that romney has identified this as being a problem in saying this is a wildfire. but his own policies throe a whole gallon or more of gas on this debt fire. this stuff has got to be played out. it's got to be played out in the lame duck and it's got to be played out in the election too.
>> it's really about the strategy here, going back to john boehner , he wants spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. no tax increases, didn't republicans lose that one last time around?
>> looks to me actually as though they won that one, they insisted on spending cuts and no tax increases in return for a debt limit increase and that is exactly what they got last year. given that the democrats, including president obama have already signed off on that general principal being acceptable, i think it's going to be hard for them to resist it again.
>> and, you know, i also think as you rightly say, richard, this is being talked about by everybody, although you got to wonder if this is the issue that polls are interested in. the economy is really driving the conversation on main street . so is this a fight they really want to get into? what point does it serve.
>> the challenge i think for republicans if they really believe this is an opening for them, is not only to explain how they would make it better or why they tried to make it better before, but also to explain the connection with jobs. because if you're standing under a banner saying cut the spend, you've got to acknowledge that cutting the spending, public spending is going to lead to public sector job losses. it's the big drag on employment right now is state's local governments having to share, teachers, firefighters, you name it, how do you meet the main demand of voters, more jobs, better economy, better incomes and also cut spending at the same time.
>> there's a big difference on what to cut, barn --
>> the republican budget now says no, we're not cutting the military, and understand he's going to make that up by further cuts in medicare and medicaid.
>> we take $30 billion out of the defense baseline, that's not as much as the president, he doesn't take that much. the problem with the president's cuts is that it stretches too far and he uses those cuts to fuel more domestic spending.
>> we have talked a lot about politics but is that the real political policy difference there?
>> well, yeah, i mean absolutely, there are serious legitimate debates between the parties about what our spending priorities should b whether we should have tax increases or spending cuts. to just get back to what richard and you were talking about in terms of the connection between jobs and the debt issue, that is absolutely right, that that connection has to be drawn but the thing i point out is that neither of these conversations is particularly helpful to president obama or the democrats because they have got a disappointing jobs record and an exploding debt record.