The Corner

DeMint: Not Time for Republicans to Compromise


As debt-limit negotiations consume Capitol Hill, Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) urges Republicans to be cautious. “The president is a magician,” he says in an interview with National Review Online. “He has been using sleight of hand. This is not time for Republicans to find compromise, we have to figure out how to stop him.”

If not, and Republicans deal, DeMint warns that such a move would be “suicidal.”

“Any grand deal would not get through the House,” DeMint says. “The president knows what he’s doing — he’s trying to get the Republicans to renege on their pledge not to raise taxes.” If Republicans break that pledge, “the same thing that happened to [President George H.W.] Bush will happen to us: we’ll get thrown out.”

DeMint emphasizes that Republicans have discussed increasing the debt limit in “good faith,” but after pushing for structural fiscal reforms, they were told by Democrats that tax increases had to be part of the equation. “The president is not serious about dealing with the debt,” he says. “It’s clear his only objective, in recent days, has been to burn up the clock and push Republicans against the wall.”

DeMint does not believe that President Obama would ever consider major entitlement reforms, even though the president said he would at a press conference earlier this week. “It’s frustrating,” DeMint says. “Americans are tired of Obama’s condescending rhetoric. Congress can’t vote on a speech. The only thing the president has sent us all year, in writing, is a budget to increase the debt over $10 trillion.”

“All he is doing is trying to make Republicans look unreasonable,” DeMint says. “He knew when these negotiations started that tax increases could never be on the table. For him to throw them back on, talking about corporate jets, it’s poll-tested politics.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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