Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer smells a rat concerning the current negotiations over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling.
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report, Krauthammer said, “I suspect a bait and switch here on the part of the Obama administration.”
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I suspect a bait and switch here on the part of the Obama administration. Obama was quite clear on Tuesday when he said he had been demanding up until now, “You give me a one year extension on the debt or I'm not going to talk.” Boehner said, “All I want to do is talk.” So the president offered an off-ramp in which he said, “Well, I will accept any length of extension” meaning “I'll extend just a technical one, a short one, a couple of weeks.” And that offer to compromise so they could start negotiations. He gets a debt ceiling increase so he can say, “Well, now I can talk.” Boehner is able to engage in negotiations with what would be a trivial extension. Whether the debt ceiling is next week or three weeks is irrelevant. And that seemed to be the basis.
And today, Carney reiterated that obvious offer. He was asked, “Would the president sign a short-term raising of the debt limit even if he doesn't get a clean CR,” i.e. an opening up of the government. And the answer was, “Yes.”
So Boehner has his offer. He goes in to see the president. You would expect that you would then have six week extension and discuss all of these issues. What seems to have happened is they’re now demands from the president on the reopening of the government which was not what they had said earlier in the week, which is why I think they are stuck now.
And I think the Republicans ought to stand fast on this. “We're offering you six weeks. We're offering an opportunity for real negotiations on debt reduction and all kinds of other stuff. Eminently reasonable.” And I hope they don't budge on this, because otherwise it is I think the president contradicting himself.