It’s been just a few hours since President Barack Obama has finished his budget address at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and there already been significant pushback from the right.
First, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan lashed out at Obama and shared his disappointment in a press conference earlier today. However, Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer took it to the next step on Wednesday’s broadcast of “Special Report” and criticized the speech as being focused on politics and not policy.
“I thought it was a disgrace,” he said. “I rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a Presidential Election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor. But, we’re a year-and-a-half away from Election Day and it was supposed to be a speech about policy. He didn’t even get to his own alternative until more than halfway through the speech. And when he did, he threw out numbers suspended in mid-air with nothing under them with all kinds of goals and guidelines and triggers that mean nothing. The speech was really about and entirely an attack on the [Rep. Paul] Ryan plan.”
Krauthammer offered up an example and showed in one scenario, the tax rates in Ryan’s plan were higher than what Obama’s own deficit commission had recommended.
“I’m going to give you one example of how dishonest it was – he went on and on how the Republicans want to steal from your grandma to lower taxes on the rich,” Krauthammer continued. “And he talked about the Bush Tax Cuts and how much he is going to stand on the bridge and oppose any extension which is what he knows how to do. He has done it over and over for the last six years. The Ryan plan is not about the Bush Tax Cuts. It transcends them. It’s about the deficit — what Obama’s own commission recommended, strip out loopholes and lower rates for everyone. It’s not about whether it’s the Bush rates or Clinton rates. It’s a whole new approach by which the Simpson-Bowles Commission recommended itself. In fact, Bowles had recommended in one of its scenarios of a high rate of 23 percent. Ryan is at 25 percent. Obama did this knowing that this is a way to play to his base. It was a speech that was quite remarkable in how demagogic it was and I say that with all due respect.”