NBC: Republicans 'Quick to Lash Out' at Obama Budget

In an attempt to frame Republican opposition to the President's 2013 budget proposal as merely political posturing, NBC Today co-host Ann Curry announced to viewers on Tuesday: "President Obama unveiled his new budget plan on Monday and with this being an election year, his Republican rivals were quick to lash out in opposition."

In the report that followed, chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd described the latest budget fight as being a question of, "who's going to bear the greatest burden on reducing the large national debt? The wealthiest Americans or government itself?" He further proclaimed it to be "presidential populism versus a Republican focus on shrinking government." The headline on screen throughout the segment read: "Budget Battle; GOP Candidates Blast President's Spending Plan."

Todd's report did feature several Republican sound bites to counter clips of Obama's Tuesday speech on the new proposal. In addition, Todd pointed out the lopsided math in the supposed "budget":

...the GOP is firing away at a budget that proposes almost $4 trillion in spending, paid for with less than $3 trillion in taxes....The President's blueprint does add $1.3 trillion to the national debt this year alone, with the deficit eventually shrinking over the next decade by changing tax laws for corporations and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. But the White House isn't providing a lot of details on where the new tax revenue will come from...

Despite the obvious massive debt that the Obama budget would add, during a news brief in the 8 a.m. et hour, news anchor Natalie Morales blamed the GOP for overspending: "Meantime today, House lawmakers weigh a GOP proposal to extend the payroll tax cut through the end of the year that would add some $100 billion to the nation's debt." She failed to mention how the President and Democrats had been pushing for the extension.

On Monday, amidst the news of singer Whitney Houston's death, Today only managed 26 seconds on the President's upcoming massive spending proposal.


Here is a full transcript of Todd's February 14 report:

7:10AM ET

ANN CURRY: President Obama unveiled his new budget plan on Monday and with this being an election year, his Republican rivals were quick to lash out in opposition. Chuck Todd is NBC's political director and chief White House correspondent. Chuck, good morning.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Budget Battle; GOP Candidates Blast President's Spending Plan]

CHUCK TODD: Good morning, Ann. You know, one giant issue this presidential election may settle is who's going to bear the greatest burden on reducing the large national debt? The wealthiest Americans or government itself? And what you had in the unveiling of the President's $3.8 trillion budget was presidential populism versus a Republican focus on shrinking government.

BARACK OBAMA: We've got a choice. We can settle for a country where a few people do really, really well and everybody else struggles to get by. Or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot.

CHUCK TODD: This morning the battle over the President's 2013 budget is under way, both in Washington and on the campaign trail, where the GOP is firing away at a budget that proposes almost $4 trillion in spending, paid for with less than $3 trillion in taxes.

MITT ROMNEY: He looks at where we are right now and is comfortable borrowing a trillion dollars more every year than we spend. If I'm – This cannot go on. If I'm president, I will cut spending, I will cap spending, and I will finally get us to a balanced budget.

NEWT GINGRICH: This budget isn't possible. It's exactly the wrong direction.

RICK SANTORUM: Another trillion-dollar budget deficit, another tax-the-rich scheme.

TODD: The President didn't spend a lot of time on the big numbers in his budget.

OBAMA: Don't worry, I will not read it to you. It's long and a lot of numbers.

TODD: Focusing instead on his new spending ideas, what he calls "investments." $350 Billion for job creation, $476 billion for transportation and infrastructure rebuilding. And $141 billion for government research and development.

OBAMA: We've got to do everything in our power to keep this recovery on track.

TODD: The President's blueprint does add $1.3 trillion to the national debt this year alone, with the deficit eventually shrinking over the next decade by changing tax laws for corporations and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. But the White House isn't providing a lot of details on where the new tax revenue will come from, beyond promising to end the so-called Bush era tax cuts by the end of this year.

GENE SPERLING [NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL]: In terms of tax reform, no, we have not tried to lay out what the exact rates would be.

TODD: Congressional Republicans accused the President of worrying more about his re-election than on the nation's economic situation.

MITCH MCCONNELL [SEN., R-KY]: President Obama released a budget that isn't really a budget at all. It's a campaign document.

JOHN BARRASSO [SEN., R-WY]: Somebody asked me if this budget was dead on arrival and I said, no, no, it's not dead on arrival, it's debt on arrival.

TODD: A couple presidential campaign notes, Ann. Today we're going to start seeing the first ads from the Romney super-PAC as he unveils sort of this two-front war for Mitt Romney, focusing attack ads both on Newt Gingrich and the first ones that we expect to see in Michigan on Rick Santorum. Ann.

CURRY: Alright, Chuck Todd this morning. Thanks as always, Chuck.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC