Allen set to Campaign with Senator who Attacked His Fiscal Approach
Richmond, VA - Today in Newport News, former Senator George Allen will likely rail against the bipartisan debt deal that Congress passed last year and advocate for his "all-cuts" approach to avoiding the sequester cuts the deal requires, as he has over the past few months. Today will be a bit different however, because Allen will launch into his sequester rhetoric while standing next to Senator John McCain, who agrees with exactly none of it.
As Allen blasts the debt deal as a "failure to set priorities" and raising revenue to avert sequestration as using "the men and women of our military as bargaining chips," he will be campaigning with McCain, who voted for the bipartisan deal to avert default last summer and has urged a compromise including new revenue to avoid sequestration.
This is not the first time Allen and McCain have been on opposite sides of a fiscal challenge. As George Allen stood with a small but vocal minority urging Republicans to use the prospect of a U.S. debt default as "leverage" during the debt ceiling debate, McCain called them "tea party hobbits," taking to the floor of the U.S. Senate to call the idea"worse than foolish" and "bizzaro."
"This morning George Allen will campaign with Senator John McCain, who has repeatedly criticized his recklessly partisan approach to the debt ceiling and who agrees with Tim Kaine's balanced strategy to avert sequestration," said DPVA Chairman Brian Moran. "If the Republican senators whom Allen ships in to campaign for him don't even agree with his radical approach to avoid the damaging sequester cuts, how can Virginians trust him to find common ground on a deal to avoid these cuts?"
Marine Corps veteran Courtney Lynch continued, "Servicemen and women, veterans and all Virginians deserve a Senator who will put the good of our country ahead of his partisan agenda. While Tim Kaine and John McCain can find common ground to solve our fiscal crisis, George Allen continues to cling to an all-cuts approach that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says would be so divisive it will increase the likelihood of the defense sequester cuts that will slash Virginia jobs and hurt our national security.
"John McCain served this county bravely and he clearly understands the need to put politics aside and solve this crisis in a way that protects our nation without cutting opportunities for the middle class. As he campaigns with George Allen this morning, Virginians can only hope he'll take this opportunity to convince his former colleague to put country first on this critical issue."
MCCAIN IS OPEN TO INCREASING REVENUE TO AVOID SEQUESTRATION
McCain Said He Was Open To "Revenue Increases" To Avoid Sequestration. According to The Huffington Post, "Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday he is open to 'revenue increases' to help balance the federal budget and avert the massive automatic spending cuts set to take effect in January 2013. Pointing to some of the revenue-raising proposals from last year's failed congressional super committee, McCain told the Bloomberg Government Defense Conference that provisions for 'raising revenues, closing loopholes, whatever you want to call it ... could serve as a blueprint for further action' to prevent mammoth, across-the-board spending cuts known as 'sequestration.' While McCain did not explicitly endorse raising taxes, he supported closing tax loopholes and eliminating subsidies for certain industries, specifically ethanol producers. Such proposals have been rejected by many Republicans. Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, for example, has argued that eliminating ethanol subsidies is tantamount to a 'tax increase.'" [The Huffington Post, 6/22/12]
MCCAIN SLAMMED ALLEN'S POSITION ON DEBT LIMIT
McCain: Those Who Say Balanced Budget Amendment Must Be Part of Debt Limit Deal Were "Deceiving" The American People. In a floor speech, Senator McCain said, "What is really amazing about this is that some members are believing that we can pass a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in this body with its present representation - and that is foolish. That is worse than foolish. That is deceiving many of our constituents. . . . That is not fair. That is not fair to the American people, to hold out and say we won't agree to raising the debt limit until we pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. It's unfair, it's bizzaro." [McCain Floor Speech, 7/27/11]
Allen Spokesman On Debt Limit: "We Will Not Support Any Approach That Does Not Include A Balanced Budget Amendment."The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported, "With the debt ceiling deadline and subsequent threat of default looming large, U.S. Senate candidates George Allen and Timothy M. Kaine have staked out dramatically different positions. . . . Kaine - who favored the 'grand bargain' approach before talks between House Republicans and the White House blew up last week - on Wednesday offered grudging support for Reid's plan as a compromise. Allen, meanwhile, dug his heels in, saying he would not support either of the two options currently being explored for lack of a balanced budget amendment, a stance well right of most mainstream Republicans. 'We will not support any approach that does not include a balanced budget amendment or delays decisions on spending cuts until after the debt ceiling has been raised,' said Allen spokesman Bill Riggs. . . . While Kaine agreed that neither approach was enough, he said failure to act was not an option." [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/27/11]
McCain: Conservatives Insisting On Amending Constitution As Part Of Debt Limit Deal Were "Worse Than Foolish" And "Tea-Party Hobbits." In an article headlined, "John McCain Derides 'Tea Party Hobbits' In Debt Ceiling Fight," the Los Angeles Times reported, "Sen. John McCain on Wednesday took on conservatives reluctant to raise the national debt ceiling, calling them 'tea party hobbits.' . . . [H]e directed the most biting sarcasm at his own party. The 'hobbits' remark came from the [Wall Street] Journal editorial, a reference to the little people of Middle-earth in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. McCain said conservatives' insistence that an increase in the debt ceiling be accompanied by a balanced budget amendment was 'worse than foolish' because it couldn't get through the Senate. Reading from the editorial, McCain continued: 'The idea seems to be that if the House GOP refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a default crisis or gradual government shutdown will ensue and the public will turn en masse against Barack Obama.... Then Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced-budget amendment and reform entitlements, and the tea party hobbits could return to Middle-earth having defeated Mordor. This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell into GOP Senate nominees,' he said, referring to the failed tea-party-backed candidates from Nevada and Delaware." [Los Angeles Times, 7/28/11]
AP: ALLEN CRITICIZED KAINE OVER DEBT LIMIT DEAL, BUT NEGLECTED TO NOTE THAT MCCAIN ALSO SUPPORTED THE DEAL
AP: Allen Criticized Kaine For Supporting Debt Limit Deal, But Neglected To Note That The Deal Was Supported By Republicans Like John McCain. The Associated Press wrote, "Republican George Allen put the issue in play in Virginia, tarring Democrat Tim Kaine at a debate two weeks ago for supporting the bipartisan congressional compromise that created sequestration a year ago. The deal Kaine said he supported was a compromise reached in late July 2011 on the eve of the deadline to either raise the amount of money the United States was authorized under the law to borrow or default on U.S. debts for the first time in the nation's history. Allen neglected to note at the time that Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell supported the compromise formally known as the Budget Control Act of 2011, or that another powerful Virginia Republican, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, helped get it passed. The Senate's Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the party's 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, also backed the deal that bought the government time for a congressional 'super committee' to try to agree on $1.2 trillion in savings and spending cuts. All of them now condemn the possible defense cuts, as does Kaine." [Associated Press, 8/12/12]