Their thinking was this: The GOP was on the wrong side of the polls in the battle over raising taxes on the highest earners. Surveys showed substantial public support for the president and Democrats on that issue. But Republicans are on...
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In the upcoming PR war the Republicans need to agree on a few simple talking points and repeat them over and over. Obama did that successfully by saying repeatedly that the wealthy need to pay "their fair share" and contribute "just a little more." Republicans had no rebuttal. This time they need to get ahead of the game. "We need to cut spending for our children's sake. Otherwise, we doom them to lives of poverty." Or something like that.
During the "fiscal cliff" battle, I asked several Republican lawmakers why they didn't push harder for spending cuts in exchange for their historic concession to vote for higher taxes. They invariably answered that they were waiting for the fight over raising the debt ceiling. Then, they promised, Republicans would demand serious cuts, especially in entitlement spending, from President Obama.
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