Bill Clinton: GOP Cuts 'Draconian, Spiteful'

Says Obama is right to refuse to negotiate, even though former prez himself did

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 29, 2013 9:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – As the nation teeters toward a government shutdown, a guy who knows a thing or two about what happens when the feds turn off the lights is offering up his two cents. Appearing on This Week today, Bill Clinton defended President Obama's refusal to negotiate with the GOP over raising the debt ceiling, saying, "I guess he could stop it, but the current price of stopping it is higher than the price of letting the Republicans do it and taking their medicine." More of his comments, as per Politico:

  • "The Republicans say, 'You just haven't given us enough cuts in the things we want to cut. And we've decided what we want to cut and we've decided what we don't want to cut. We don't want to negotiate with the Democrats in the House. And we have no intention of doing what the law requires that we negotiate with the Senate, because the Senate has the Democratic majority.'" Of that, Clinton says, "You can't negotiate over that. And I think (Obama's) right not to."

  • While Clinton admits he did negotiate "extremely minor" compromises as part of an overarching deal during his pair of shutdowns, he says, "There's no opportunity for that in this forum. We don't have enough time."
  • And he says that the GOP is demanding "draconian cuts that are gonna take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else. It's chilling to me. Half of the deficit's already disappeared. The rest of it will—this is just—it seems almost spiteful."

Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York.
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York.
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Former President Bill Clinton speaks about health care at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013.
Former President Bill Clinton speaks about health care at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013.   (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
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