Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said on Wednesday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel that the GOP would be foolish to accept Obama’s proposed framework for handling the fiscal cliff.
“Look, Obama never offered anything in public about entitlement,” Krauthammer said. “He always says he wants a discussion. And now he says after the Republicans give up their one issue on taxes, ‘I’ll discuss a bargain next year.’ Of course he wants that, because that’ll be at a time when the Republicans are defrocked, disrobed and disarmed. They will have nothing to bargain with.”
“And they just had a punch in the nose this afternoon,” Krauthammer continued. “Any Republican who buys this is a fool. The Republicans have stood for one thing consistently. It’s held them together ideologically. And, generally speaking, it has helped them electorally. They are the low-tax party. The other guys want to tax to match reckless spending. If they give it up now in return for nothing, Obama wins, and he wins big.”
Krauthammer said the Republicans actually hold a substantial amount of leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations, despite losing big on Election Day.
“Now, I understand why Democrats are doing this,” Krauthammer said. “They imagine that the Republicans have no bargaining power today. I say: It’s true that if Republicans resist, they will take the blame. And that will help the Democrats in the Congress. But Obama is never running again. He doesn’t care who gets the blame. He is going to be the president. He’s a lame duck. He wants a successful second term. If it starts by going over the cliff, it starts with a second recession — two million unemployed, and a wrecked second term. That is the leverage that Republicans have over Obama. And they ought to use it ,and not cave in in the face of a demand that I think is utterly unacceptable.”