The 2012 Candidates and the Debt Ceiling

ABC News has written a comprehensive report on where all the 2012 GOP candidates stand on the current debt ceiling debate:

At this stage of the primary, Mitt Romney is still considered his party’s front-runner, and he has been assailed over the past few days for not taking a stronger stance on what exactly he thinks should be done about the debt ceiling stalemate in Washington. Not merely because of his front-runner status, but also because he is campaigning on his business background and consistently boasts that he’s the candidate who can fix the economy and bring jobs back to the country.

Jon Huntsman supported Speaker John Boehner’s plan that passed the House Friday evening, but then quickly died in the Senate. However, before the vote he was the only one in the field who had explicitly expressed his support.

Romney has dodged the debate, only commenting when asked about it by reporters at an event in Ohio this week.

Representatives Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann both voted “no” to the Boehner bill, while Rick Perry has expressed doubts that the crisis is real. Pawlenty and Santorum praised Speaker Boehner but don’t personally support his bill, while Gingrich’s solution is, frankly, no solution at all:

His campaign told ABC News on Friday that Gingrich, “recommends Congress pass 30 to 60 day extensions during which pressure could be put on Senate Democrats” to support cut, cap and balance.

It’s pretty unfortunate for Speaker Gingrich that he didn’t try that himself. Oh, wait! He did:

Republicans, who control Congress, have twice forced the government to shut down by refusing to provide the funding needed to pay federal employees except as part of a balanced budget plan, which Clinton vetoed.

Without a budget deal, and if the GOP continued that strategy, another partial shutdown could occur on January 26 when current temporary funding measures expire.

The shutdown strategy, however, apparently backfired. A Time magazine/CNN poll issued Saturday said Americans think Clinton has handled himself more responsibly than Republican leaders during recent budget negotiations.

If memory serves, Clinton won reelection because of Gingrich’s strategy. I think I’ll pass.

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