Wolf Blitzer: Failure to Extend Payroll Tax Cut Would Be ‘Great Ammunition’ for Democrats to Use

When asked how both parties would handle an ultimate failure to extend the payroll tax cut, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer immediately painted the scenario as a big advantage for the Democrats. “Well it’ll be great ammunition for the Democrats, because they’ll obviously blame the Republicans, especially House Republicans,” Blizter asserted during the 2 p.m. hour of Newsroom.

Blitzer didn’t say how Republicans could use the news to their advantage; he only expounded upon how President Obama and the Democrats would “hammer” Republicans if a deal was not struck. Blitzer noted that Obama’s rising poll numbers could be related to the battle over the tax cut extension.

“I think it’s in part because he’s pushing really hard for this payroll tax cut to be extended at least for another year. It’s probably helping him in his bid for re-election,” he noted of Obama. “So it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the Republicans.”

Blitzer’s analysis could definitely aid the White House communications team in getting Obama’s message out that House Republicans are the ones with the most to lose. CNN’s Randi Kaye also seemed to do her part.

Kaye, during the previous hour of Newsroom, suggested that the refusal of House Republicans to accept the current deal was “a bit of a political move.”

A transcript of the segment, which aired on December 20 around 2:13 p.m. EST, is as follows:

BROOKE BALDWIN: We are eleven days away from this payroll tax cut expiring. We’re also eleven or twelve days away from an election year. And Wolf Blitzer, hammer this home for me. I mean, the stakes are so, so high, if – and this is the hypothetical “if” game – if a compromise is not made, how do Democrats, how do Republicans use this as ammunition come November?

WOLF BLITZER: Well it’ll be great ammunition for the Democrats, because they’ll obviously blame the Republicans, especially House Republicans. Republicans are not in control of the Senate, the Democrats have the majority in the Senate. But they do have the majority – a lopsided majority in the House of Representatives. And so the President will -- and in his own re-election campaign, and other Democrats in districts all over the country – they’ll hammer the Republicans for allowing taxes to go up for 160 million Americans. They’ll blame the Republicans, they’ll hit them hard on this, and presumably I think it’s one of the factors why, in this new poll, this new CNN/ORC poll that we released just a little while ago – Brooke, the President’s job approval number has just gone up to 49 percent, which is not fabulous, but it’s certainly better than the 44 percent it was back in November, so it’s a nice jump for the President. I think it’s in part because he’s pushing really hard for this payroll tax cut to be extended at least for another year. It’s probably helping him in his bid for re-election. So it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the Republicans.

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014