As the fallout from Standard & Poor decision to downgrade the credit rating of the United States continues to settle in, Republican leaders are using the news as an opportunity to point out the failings of President Barack Obama and his administration’s economic policies.
On Friday night’s “On the Record with Greta van Susteren,” Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination, was quick to point out the significance of the news.
“That’s right — nice decision by S&P to downgrade our credit rating to a AA+,” Bachmann said. “It’s historically significant. It is a serious event for the United States because our country has had a AAA rating since 1917. That rating has never been downgraded. It has endured the Great Depression, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and terrorist attacks on 9/11. This president has destroyed the credit rating of the United States through failed economic policies and his inability to control government spending by once again raising the debt ceiling.”
Bachmann said the White House knew this was coming but failed to act. She suggested swift action from Obama, including the resignation of his Treasury Secretary.
“We were warned by all the credit agencies that a failure to deal with the debt would lead to this downgrade in our credit rating,” she said. “But instead, the president submitted a budget that had a $1.5 trillion deficit, the he request a $2.4 trillion blank check on top of that. President Obama is destroying the foundations of our economy, one beam at a time. I call on the president to seek the immediate resignation of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and submit a plan that balances the budget in year. Turn the economy around and put our people back to work.”
Bachmann also warned that Obama would look for someone else to blame, including the tea party movement, which was insistent on spending cuts throughout the recent budget ceiling debate.
“I’m very concerned that the administration tomorrow might look for anyone else to blame. They may blame the tea party. They may blame ratings agencies or anyone else. They knew this was coming this year in January but they didn’t write a plan and they still don’t have a plan.”
She called the move by Standard & Poor’s historic, and warned about the market reaction set to come Monday morning.
“This is not an embarrassment to the nation,” she said. “This is a very serious historically significant event that occurred. Again, since 1917 we’ve had a AAA credit rating. This is more than historically significant. We’re all concerned about what will happen and transpire with the markets Monday morning. We aren’t sure what investors will do. Clearly it was imperative that we literally deal with our spending priorities and not add to the debt ceiling in the way we did. And now we saw the proof in the pudding with the market crash that we just saw and today with this credit rating. This is very significant. That’s why the president of the United States needs to submit his plan, finally with place of real cuts to balance our budget this year because quite frankly, there are people, millions of Americans, 14 million Americans out of work. They need jobs. And the president has to do his job.”
Bachmann also said the work of the so-called “super committee” designated by Congress in the debt ceiling agreement had to act immediately and could not wait until its November mandate.
“I don’t think this can wait until November, Greta,” she said. “This needs to happen immediately. Again, the president knew about in problem in January. Despite that fact the following months he submitted a plan for his budget with a $1.5 trillion deficit. The president planned for failure. Even up until Tuesday, he did not have a plan. He finally has to put on the table what his cuts are because clearly that’s what we must do, cut.”
As for her calling for Geithner’s resignation, she said he was the architect of the “so-called economic recovery” and therefore must be held responsible.
“He has been the architect of the so-called economic recovery,” she said. “The decisions that he has made as Treasury Secretary — and again at the direction of the president, they are not ones that have clearly turned the economy in order or lead to job creation,” she said. “We got the numbers today that the unemployment rate is 9.1 percent. We are by every metric — manufacturing at a two-year low. We can go through all these metrics. Our economy is in a very poor place now this was unheard of.”