Almost immediately after the congressional deficit reduction super committee called it quits on trying to reach a deal on federal budget cuts, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged Congress to stop the automatic across-the-board cuts, warning they would “tear a seam in the nation’s defense.”
That’s a near-complete contradiction to what his boss, President Barack Obama, said following the news. Obama promised to veto any efforts by Congress to stop the cuts.
On Tuesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said this was a sign that Obama’s re-election is taking precedence over governance.
“Everything he does is about campaigning,” Krauthammer said. “He gave up the governance phase of this term about three months ago.”
Krauthammer explained that Obama’s unwillingness to stop the cuts is “unprecedented,” considering he escalated the war in Afghanistan with a surge just two years ago.
“I think [it] is rather shocking when you get your own defense secretary saying it will devastate the military and implying he will resign,” Krauthammer said. “It looks as if Panetta, as a matter of honor would have to step down if these sequesters end up being enacted. And you get a president adamantly saying that he will ensure that the sequesters are put in place. You’ve got something unprecedented.”