CBS to DeMint: Why Can't the GOP Just Cave to Obama's Tax Hike Demand?
Charlie Rose and Gayle King pressed outgoing Senator Jim DeMint on Thursday's CBS This Morning over congressional Republicans resistance to tax hikes. When DeMint stated that President Obama will "probably eventually get his tax increases one way or another", Rose replied, "So, if he will get them, why not get them now and compromise and avoid going off the fiscal cliff?"
Open Obama booster King added the bad polling numbers for Republicans into the mix as she tried to get the senator to surrender to the President's demand: "You released a statement...saying this is not rocket science...with that in mind, why can't we come to terms? The public is viewing the Republican Party very negatively. Are you concerned about that?" Rose later wondered why DeMint was leaving the Senate to head the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The PBS veteran led the interview with the issue of the ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations. He first asked the South Carolina politician, "What do you think is going to happen?" DeMint answered, in part, that "I wish I knew...But I do know this - that this government doesn't need more money. This country needs less government. To take more money out of the real economy, and to give it to politicians and bureaucrats...is not going to help the middle class or anyone else."
The Republican senator continued by conceding that the President is going to get his tax hikes, which led to Rose's exhortation for "compromise." DeMint replied, "Well, we should have done it before the election....I've been a businessman most of my life, and I know the damage from this uncertainty...has already been done, and you combine that with the implementation of ObamaCare and...I think you're already going to see some downturn in our economy."
King then chimed in by rephrasing Rose's earlier question and hyped the GOP's bad favorability numbers. An on-screen graphic cited another Big Three network's poll: "Views Of The Republican Party: Negative, 45%; Positive, 30%; Source: NBC News/The Wall Street Journal Poll".
The CBS This Morning crew has a habit of beseeching conservatives/Republicans to wave the white flag. On November 26, 2012, Rose and co-anchor Norah O'Donnell tried to get Senator Bob Corker to commit to higher income tax rates. The following morning, O'Donnell hounded best-selling Christian author Rick Warren to give up his opposition to same-sex "marriage."
The full transcript of the Jim DeMint interview on Thursday's CBS This Morning:
CHARLIE ROSE: Also in Washington is Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Senator, good morning.
SEN. JIM DEMINT, (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Good morning, Charlie.
[CBS News Graphic: "Fiscal Cliff Notes: Sen. DeMint On Stalemate"]
ROSE: Senator, what do you think is going to happen?
DEMINT: (laughs) I – I wish I knew, though most of us here are – are not in the loop of what they're discussing. But I – I do know this - that this government doesn't need more money. This country needs less government. To take more money out of the real economy, and to give it to politicians and bureaucrats - no matter who you take it from - is not going to help the middle class or anyone else. The President's proposal clearly is not a plan. It's not a solution. It will fund the government for a few days-
ROSE: So you're – you're-
DEMINT: And we all – we all realize it's a political trophy. It's not a solution. But we – the President's been campaigning against these tax rates for a long time, and he'll probably eventually get his tax increases one way or another.
[CBS News Graphic: "Fiscal Cliff Resolution: How American Feel: Optimistic, 48%; Pessimistic, 48%; Source: NBC News/The Wall Street Journal Poll: Margin of Error: +/-3.1%"]
ROSE: So, if he will get them, why not get them now and compromise and avoid going off the fiscal cliff?
DEMINT: Well, we should have done it before the election. We – we should not have gone home until the problem was solved, and people could see how we had actually handled it here, so they would know how to vote in the election. But I've been a businessman most of my life, and I know the damage from this uncertainty has already done – has already been done, and you combine that with the implementation of ObamaCare and those taxes – I think you're already going to see some downturn in our economy because of what's been going on here. We can't fix it Christmas Eve and expect it all to bounce back in January.
[CBS News Graphic: "Raise Taxes On $250K Earners? Acceptable, 76%; Unacceptable, 22%; Source: NBC News/The Wall Street Journal Poll: Margin of Error: +/-3.1%"]
GAYLE KING: Senator, you're talking about the damage that's been done. You released a statement last week, saying this is not rocket science. And, with that in mind, why can't we come to terms? You know, the – the public is viewing the Republican Party very negatively. Are you concerned about that?
DEMINT: Well, I'm – I'm not so much concerned about the parties. I think both parties have – have failed our – our country, and I know what the American public has been told. The President campaigned on raising taxes and getting rid of the Bush-era tax cuts, and he's going to get his wish. I believe we're going to be raising taxes not just on the top – top earners. Everyone's going pay more taxes next year in this country, and I think that's what the President wants. But we've doubled the size of this government in double-spending over the last 10 years. This year, tax revenues, at current tax rates, will probably be at historic highs. And if you look at the facts, we don't need more revenue. We just need to stop the spending. The President is not going to stop spending. He's proposed-
[CBS News Graphic: "Views Of The Republican Party: Negative, 45%; Positive, 30%; Source: NBC News/The Wall Street Journal Poll: Margin of Error: +/-3.1%"]
DEMINT: More – more spending – so, it's hard to work with someone who, I think, is intentionally trying to take us over this cliff.
ROSE: Senator, you have announced that you're going to leave the Senate and go to a think tank to make the case for conservatism in America. Why are you doing that?
[CBS News Graphic: "Fiscal Cliff Notes: Retiring Sen. DeMint On Replacement"]
DEMINT: Well, I can see conservative ideas working all over the country. A number of states are implementing conservative ideas. Their economies are turning around, jobs are being created, but we have not done a good enough job of convincing Americans that less government, less taxes, and a more vibrant economy is really going to work for every American. And so, I spent most of my life in advertising and marketing and research, and I want to go back to the battle of ideas. I just think, unless we win the hearts and minds of the American people, we're not going to win elections with conservative ideas. So, we've got a lot of work to do, and the Heritage Foundation is the most prominent, preeminent conservative think tank in this country. So, it's a great opportunity to change the debate.
ROSE: Senator, thank you very much.
DEMINT: Thank you.