Conservatives are warning of lasting political consequences as the Republican presidential field offers conflicting positions on the debt-ceiling compromise.
Some activists likened the political impact of the high-stakes fight over the nation’s borrowing limit to the debate preceding the invasion of Iraq. And interest groups promised that each presidential contender’s position would be remembered, particularly among conservative activists in early voting states.
Before Monday, Romney sounded much like Perry, having largely avoided taking a definite position as the debate consumed Capitol Hill. The delay opened him to criticism from the right and the left.
Huntsman, who is struggling in the polls, did not call out Romney by name, but said “some of my opponents ducked the debate entirely.”
“A debt crisis like this is a time for leadership, not a time for waiting to see which way the political winds blow,” Huntsman said.
A Democrat-friendly outside group, American Bridge, echoed the criticism of Romney.
“It’s great to see that after more than a month of negotiations, Mitt Romney finally decided to weigh in on one of the most important issues facing our nation,” American Bridge spokesman Ty Matsdorf said. “As somebody who is trying to campaign as a savvy businessman, you would have thought he would have tried to lead his party, but instead he has decided to kowtow to the tea party.”
Romney declined to respond to the specific criticism, but a campaign spokesman said he has consistently supported the “cut, cap and balance” approach favored by the tea party and other conservatives that would, among other things, push a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. That’s the approach favored by the Club For Growth.
Published: Aug 2, 2011