Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) just pulled the rug out from underneath a major Democratic party talking point in Billings this week.
I first mentioned the news on our statewide radio talk show this morning, and it is now dominating the national talk radio airwaves. While I was live on-air, Fox News’ Shannon Bream sent this out via Twitter:
As the White House attempts to blame Republicans for the looming sequester, and Republicans seek to blame President Obama- the Republican National Committee (RNC) was quick to seize on remarks by Sen. Baucus where he says the sequester was Obama’s idea, “and now we’re feeling the effects of it.”
Here’s the video from an interview with KTVQ-TV in Billings:
Full quote from the RNC:
Yesterday, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) Said That Obama Is “Part Of The Sequester” And That “Now We’re Feeling The Effects Of It.” SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “The President’s part of the sequester – the White House recommended it, frankly, back in August 2011, so now we’re feeling the effects of it. Now I don’t want to say the President is solely to blame – he’s not – it’s both the President and Congress.” (Senator Max Baucus, Interview With KTVQ (CBS), 2/19/13)
Now, Senator Baucus should be credited for noting that both parties are partially to blame for implementing President Obama’s idea. However, Sen. Baucus should also be discredited for pretending to be the above-the-fray politician, and failing to admit his own leading role in the failed super committee which led to sequester.
Furthermore, as The St. Louis Beacon previously reported, Baucus said the sequestration threat was necessary:
“Sequestration is very important and I’ve said it’s a good point of leverage to get results,” Baucus told reporters after a June 11 speech to a Bipartisan Policy Center forum. “I’m not saying how it should be resolved, but it is leverage that should not be given up easily.”
The other downer in all of this for Sen. Baucus? This news is getting big play, embarrassing national Democrats, on the same day that former Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s (D-MT) camp apppears to be very pleased with a new poll showing Schweitzer trouncing Baucus in a 2014 Democratic primary.
Montanans may also recall the topic of sequester playing a role in the 2012 US Senate race. Former Congressman Denny Rehberg (R-MT) opposed sequester, while Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) voted for the measure in the Senate.
In case you missed it back then, The Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell had this guest opinion column in The Missoulian:
Tester did vote for the Budget Control Act that paved the way to raising the debt ceiling, essentially raising the limit on the country’s credit card, while making budget cuts in all of the wrong places.
The Budget Control Act will force mandatory cuts, called sequestration, the largest portion of which will come from defense spending. While entitlement spending accounts for 62 percent of U.S. spending, only 14.8 percent of the sequestration comes from entitlements. Spending on defense, on the other hand, which accounts for 19 percent of total spending, will make up 42.6 percent of the cuts.