McConnell also dismissed Democratic accusations that a desire to keep Obama from winning reelection has prompted Republicans to block many of the president’s initiatives on the economy. Many Democrats say that Republican intransigence on the economy is part of the reason for the slow pace of growth.
But McConnell, in his convention speech, countered: “This is not the result of forces beyond our control. It is not the result of some sinister political plot, as some of the more paranoid inhabitants of the left-wing fever swamps would have you believe.”
McConnell was criticized after telling National Journal in October 2010 that the GOP's No. 1 priority should be preventing Obama from getting a second term.
Mitch McConnell on fiscal cliff:
McConnell accused Obama of advocating tax increases that would send the economy into another recession.
“We know what the president's got on his iPod, but we don’t know what he plans to do about a looming tax hike that could trigger yet another serious recession that would result in even more Americans losing their jobs,” he said.
CBO says the economy would indeed enter a recession if Congress allows all of the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at year's end and if automatic spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion kick in. CBO has said that unemployment could rise as high as 9.1 percent by the end of 2013 and remain above 8 percent through 2014.
But Obama has not advocated an expiration of all of the Bush tax cuts. He has called for an extension of the middle-class cuts and a rolling back of the cuts only on individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families making more than $250,000 a year. Obama has also said that he wants to work out a deal with Congress to prevent the automatic spending cuts from taking effect.
Raising taxes only on those making more than $250,000 a year would produce a very different fiscal scenario for the country than the one detailed by CBO.
Condoleezza Rice on free trade:
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized the Obama administration for “abandoning the playing field of free trade”—and insisted the decision “will come back to haunt us.”
While it’s true that Obama has been less vigorous in its pursuit of a free-trade agenda than President George W. Bush, he has not scaled back free trade in any significant way either. Last October, Congress passed—and Obama signed—the long-stalled free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. While all three pacts were negotiated under Bush, The Washington Post noted that the move “authorize[s] the most significant expansion of trade relations in nearly two decades."
The Obama administration has taken some specific punitive actions against China in some instances. For example, it slapped tariffs on Chinese tires in 2009 and lodged a request for consultations with Beijing at the World Trade Organization for allegedly hoarding rare-earth minerals. Overall, though, Obama—like Bush—has maintained a free-trade approach toward China and has resisted entreaties from some lawmakers to declare China a currency manipulator, which could lead to trade sanctions against Beijing.