FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2012
Kaine for Virginia Press Office
FOR SECOND TIME, CROSSROADS LAUNCHES FALSE SMEAR ATTACKS ON DEFENSE CUTS
Richmond, VA – In one of three attack ads released yesterday, Crossroads GPS doubled down on the baseless attack that Tim Kaine supports sequestration defense cuts – an attack which has been repeatedly debunked by newspapers across Virginia. In fact, the very article that Crossroads cites as proof that Kaine supports the cuts labels Allen's attacks “hysteria-laced” and notes that Kaine has urged Congress to find a deal to avoid these cuts. What's more — the attack leveled by Crossroads could be equally applied to Republicans across the nation including Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan who have both said last summer's deal to avoid default was necessary. In fact, Crossroads' own founder Karl Rove praised the deal, calling it a “down payment” on reducing the debt.
“We'd say Crossroads' needs to check their facts, but it's clear they only deal in exaggerations misstatements, and out-of-context quotes,” said Kaine for Virginia communications director Brandi Hoffine. “But, by using the risk of sequestration cuts as a political wedge, George Allen and his allies have proven they are not serious about finding common ground to avoid these cuts. Virginians have had enough of grandstanding and petty political games. Now is the time for real leadership that finds a middle ground approach to avoid these harmful cuts to defense, Medicaid, pre-K education programs, and other vital services. Tim Kaine has laid-out that balanced approach, which calls for allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire over $500,000. Doing so generates more than $500 billion in revenue over ten years, finding immediate savings but also shrinking the gap that must be closed in order erase our deficit. George Allen's all-cuts approach, on the other hand, would level deep cuts to nearly every area of the budget – defense, veterans’ benefits, Medicare, and education – in order to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. Instead of bringing leaders closer together, Allen's rigid position makes compromise to avoid the cuts all but impossible.
“Unfortunately, Virginians already know the outcome of George Allen's approach — an economic disaster. They can't afford to try it again.”
During the summer, Kaine laid out his plan to avoid harmful sequestration cuts that would be damaging to the nation’s defense and other key priorities in Virginia.
Throughout this campaign, Crossroads GPS’ Virginia ads have been criticized by newspapers, editorial boards, and independent fact-checkers across the state, and called “erroneous,” and filled with “demonstrable falsehoods and distortions.”
Crossroads has now tried more than half-dozen times to boost George Allen’s campaign. Tim Kaine has twice offered George Allen opportunities to reach an agreement limiting the influence of these outside groups on this Senate race and George Allen twice declined, opting instead to bolster his re-election campaign with false, negative advertising.
Quick Facts You Should Know AP: “Allen Airs Campaign Ad On Possible Defense Cuts That Distorts Kaine’s Position.”
[Associated Press, 7/24/12
AP: “Kaine Was Clear” That His Support Of Debt Limit Deal Did Not Extend To Support For Sequestration. [Associated Press, 7/24/12]
During George Allen’s previous term in the Senate he voted four times to raise the debt ceiling without corresponding cuts and for more than $3 trillion in debt. [Politifact Virginia, 4/12/11]
At the time the compromise was reached, Kaine called the bipartisan compromise “far from perfect”… [Associated Press, 7/24/12]
Allen “has never offered a coherent alternative…Allen bellyached that the budget cuts should have been deeper, a posture he's chosen to ignore now… [Roanoke Times, 07/27/12]
“Like Kaine, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Gov. Bob McDonnell also backed the August compromise that kept the government from defaulting on its debts for the first time and defused a global financial meltdown. Allen opposed the compromise, saying the cuts would not have been deep enough.” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]
FACT CHECK: “QUESTIONABLE”
CLAIM: Crossroads Says Kaine Supports Devastating Cuts To Defense And Virginia’s Economy.
FACT: This Claim Has Already Been Widely And Thoroughly Debunked.
Roanoke Times Described Allen’s Sequestration Attack As “Hysteria-Laced” And Not Honest. In an editorial headlined, “Allen’s Leadership Gap On The Budget Deficit—The GOP Senate Candidate Criticizes His Opponent For Backing A Budget Deal That Had The Support Of Top Republicans,” The Roanoke Times wrote, “It's a little hard to follow the hysteria-laced attacks by Senate candidate George Allen and fellow Republicans against his opponent Tim Kaine, but they seem to be under the impression that the Democrat is cutting the federal budget by $1 trillion, and they are determined to do everything in their power to stop him. As long as ‘everything’ doesn't include being honest with Virginians about the national deficit and what it will take to get it under control.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 7/27/12]
AP: “Allen Airs Campaign Ad On Possible Defense Cuts That Distorts Kaine’s Position.” In an article headlined, “Allen Airs Campaign Ad On Possible Defense Cuts That Distorts Kaine’s Position,” The Associated Press reported, “At the time the compromise was reached, Kaine called it ‘far from perfect’ but said it temporarily preserved ‘economic stability by raising the debt ceiling and enacts important spending cuts that will help preserve our nation’s and Virginia’s credit rating. This is the beginning of a much longer process as we work to rebuild our economy.’” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]
AP: Allen Campaign Released Ad That “Clearly — And Falsely — Creates The Impression That Kaine Approves Of The Looming Deep Military Cuts.” The Associated Press reported, “Forty-eight hours after the July 28 debate, his campaign was televising an ad across the state that never mentioned Kaine by name but clearly — and falsely — creates the impression that Kaine approves of the looming deep military cuts.” [Associated Press, 8/12/12]
Washington Post Criticized Allen’s Silence Over “Blatantly False” Crossroads Ad Attacking Kaine Over Debt Deal, Noting “Kaine Has Urged Congress To Strike An Agreement That Would Avoid Deep Cuts.” In ‘George Allen’s Inconvenient Principles,’ The Washington Post Editorial Board wrote, “In the absence of disclosure, accountability goes out the window — a point Mr. Allen once made convincingly. “I’d like to see campaigns responsible for the ads and the messages they’re sending out,” he said in 2004, noting that he’d been the target of attacks by outside groups in his first race for the Senate, in 2000. Now that the tables have turned, Mr. Allen has been silent in the face of blatantly inaccurate ads attacking Mr. Kaine. One, paid for by Crossroads GPS, claims that the bipartisan budget deal backed last year by Mr. Kaine (as well as the GOP leadership in Congress) would result in draconian defense cuts and job losses in Virginia. In fact, Mr. Kaine has urged Congress to strike an agreement that would avoid deep cuts.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/19/12]
Roanoke Times: Crossroads GPS Ad Against Kaine Over The Congressional Budget Deal Was A “Hit Piece” Full Of “Stale Accusations” That “Have Been Exhaustively Debunked.” In an editorial titled, ‘A Second Helping Of Yuck—Interest Groups Are Piling On Attack Ads Against Senate Candidate Tim Kaine That Have Already Been Debunked,’ The Roanoke Times wrote, “The Labor Day kickoff for this year's campaign season is still more than two weeks away, but outside interest groups are already serving up warmed over attack ads. Worse, the stale accusations being shoved down voters' throats have been exhaustively debunked. . . . Crossroads GPS, a national conservative group which, along with its SuperPAC, plans to spend more than $200 million across the country in this year's elections. Its other hit piece regurgitates accusations that Kaine supports a congressional budget deal that could result in deep defense cuts and dramatic job losses in Virginia. Kaine spoke in favor of the bipartisan agreement last summer that allowed the U.S. to avoid default on its debts, but he expressed concern about automatic spending cuts to defense and urged Congress to pass an alternative plan less onerous to the Pentagon.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 8/17/12]
CLAIM: Kaine Supported A Deal “That Would Devastate America’s Defense And Virginia Jobs.”
FACT: The Budget Deal Was Negotiated And Supported By Republicans Like Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, John Boehner, And Mitch McConnell Among Others.
Paul Ryan On Why He Voted For The Debt Deal: “It Was A Step In The Right Direction.” In an interview on Face the Nation, Ryan said, “I did, you know why I voted for it? Because I was working to find common ground with Democrats to get a down payment on deficit reduction. I worked with President Obama to find common ground to get a down payment on deficit reduction. It wasn't a big down payment but it was a step in the right direction.” [Face The Nation, 9/9/12]
AP: In Criticizing Kaine, Allen Has “Neglected To Note” That Gov. McDonnell, Rep. Cantor, Sen. McConnell, And Sen. McCain “Also Backed The Deal… All Of Them Now Condemn The Possible Defense Cuts, As Does Kaine.” The Associated Press reported, “Republican George Allen put the issue in play in Virginia, tarring Democrat Tim Kaine at a debate two weeks ago for supporting the bipartisan congressional compromise that created sequestration a year ago. The deal Kaine said he supported was a compromise reached in late July 2011 on the eve of the deadline to either raise the amount of money the United States was authorized under the law to borrow or default on U.S. debts for the first time in the nation's history. Allen neglected to note at the time that Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell supported the compromise formally known as the Budget Control Act of 2011, or that another powerful Virginia Republican, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, helped get it passed. The Senate's Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the party's 2008 presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, also backed the deal that bought the government time for a congressional ‘super committee’ to try to agree on $1.2 trillion in savings and spending cuts. All of them now condemn the possible defense cuts, as does Kaine.” [Associated Press, 8/12/12]
- Roanoke Times: “While His Colleagues Were On Capitol Hill Taking Tough Votes, Allen Was Free To Stand On The Sidelines And Criticize, But He Has Never Offered A Coherent Alternative.” The Roanoke Times editorialized, “While his colleagues were on Capitol Hill taking tough votes, Allen was free to stand on the sidelines and criticize, but he has never offered a coherent alternative. Like 9th District Rep. Morgan Griffith, Allen bellyached that the budget cuts should have been deeper, a posture he's chosen to ignore now that he's airing ominous TV ads and firing off emails that accuse Kaine of laying waste to Virginia's economy.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 7/27/12]
- “Kaine Didn't Have A Vote Last Summer When Congress Passed A Bipartisan Deal That Raised The Federal Debt Ceiling.” The Roanoke Times editorialized, “Kaine didn't have a vote last summer when Congress passed a bipartisan deal that raised the federal debt ceiling and laid the groundwork for deep spending reductions. But he supported the proposal because it put pressure on Congress to get its finances in order while averting default on national debts that could have deepened the ongoing global economic crisis. Virginia Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte, 6thDistrict, and Robert Hurt, 5th District, did vote. They backed the plan, as did House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Gov. Bob McDonnell threw his support behind the compromise, too.” [Editorial, Roanoke Times, 7/27/12]
Richmond Times-Dispatch Noted New Crossroads Ad “Does Not Mention… That The Debt Deal Was A Bipartisan Plan Supported By Numerous Republicans, Including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, And Gov. Bob McDonnell.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Politics Blog wrote, “Karl Rove-founded conservative group Crossroads GPS is up with two new ads in Virginia targeting Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Timothy M. Kaine. The ads, titled ‘Cost’ and ‘Pledged’ hit Kaine for supporting last year’s debt deal and proposing tax increases as governor respectively. ‘Cost’ accuses Kaine of failing to put Virginia first by voicing support for the debt reduction deal, which he called ‘the right thing to do’ at a recent debate. The deal established a so-called ‘super-committee’ to identify deficit reductions, but when the committee failed, automatic cuts, which fall heavily on the Pentagon, were triggered and are due to take effect at the end of this year. The $500 billion in defense cuts could potentially cost 200,000 Virginia jobs, a recent study concluded. What the ad does not mention is that the debt deal was a bipartisan plan supported by numerous Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, and Gov. Bob McDonnell.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Politics Blog, 8/15/12]
Cantor Negotiated Sequestration Deal And Whipped Freshman Tea Party Representatives To Vote For It. The New York Times reported, “Staff members from the office of Mr. McCarthy and Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the Republican majority leader, leaned on the aides of on-the-fence members, fuming, at times, said several staff members, that their bosses would not simply commit and move on. To get the bill to pass, Mr. McCarthy and Mr. Cantor worked the phones, as well as the hallways and the floor of the House.” [New York Times, 8/2/11]
Six Out Of Eight Of Virginia’s Republican Congressman Voted For Sequestration Deal. The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that six of Virginia’s Republican congressman voted for sequestration deal. They include: Robert J. Wittman, R-1st; Scott Rigell, R-2nd; Robert Hurt, R-5th; Robert W. Goodlatte, R-6th; Eric Cantor, R-7th; Frank R. Wolf, R-10th. [Richmond Times Dispatch, 8/2/11]
Gov. Bob McDonnell Offered Support For Debt Ceiling Deal. The Virginian-Pilot reported, “Offering measured praise for the late-breaking federal debt ceiling deal that averted a potential credit default, Gov. Bob McDonnell cautioned Tuesday that it is just a ‘small first step’ to get government spending under control. ‘I am pleased that we have avoided default, which would have threatened Virginia's AAA bond rating and have been catastrophic for our economy, and that this legislation cuts spending and does not raise taxes,’ the governor said in a statement. ‘Throughout this debate I have been clear that Congress must raise the debt limit by August 2 and that any increase in the debt limit should be accompanied by a reduction in federal spending. This legislation, while not perfect, achieves both of those objectives.’” [The Virginian-Pilot, 8/2/11]
Speaker Boehner Called the BCA “A Positive Step Forward.” The office of Speaker of the House John Boehner issued the following press release: “This is a positive step forward that begins to rein in federal spending, but it's only a step.” [Boehner Press Release, 8/1/11]
Sen. McConnell Praised The Budget Control Act As One Of The “Things We Agree On… [That] Will Get Us A Trillion Dollars In Savings Over 10 Years.” The following exchange occurred on NBC’s Meet The Press: DAVID GREGORY: “Isn't this classic? Politicians talking out of both sides of their mouths? We can't have an ultimatum, ‘my way or the highway,’ but we will not talk about tax increases as we go forward to try to bring this budget into balance over time.” SEN MINORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL: “Well, regretfully, it never gets talked about, but there actually are things we agree on. We passed the Budget Control Act last August, this past August. It will get us a trillion dollars in savings over 10 years.” [Meet the Press, 9/18/11]
Fairfax County Chamber Of Commerce Supported Deal To Raise Debt Ceiling. The Washington Post Virginia Politics blog reported, “Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce President Jim Corcoran, mindful of the billions of dollars that pour into Northern Virginia from the federal government, called on Congress and the White House on Tuesday to cut a deal to raise the debt ceiling or risk damaging Virginia’s economic powerhouse.” [The Washington Post, Virginia Politics Blog, 7/26/11]
US Chamber Of Commerce Supported Debt Ceiling Compromise. In a statement, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said the following: ‘We strongly urge the House and Senate to quickly pass this bipartisan compromise bill that would increase the debt ceiling, avert default, reduce spending, and start the process of getting our fiscal house in order.’” [US Chamber Of Commerce Release, 8/1/11]
The US Chamber Of Commerce On Debt Deal: “This Legislation Is The Right Thing To Do.” In a key vote letter supporting the Budget Control Act of 2011, the US Chamber of Commerce said: “As is the nature of all compromises, this bill is not perfect. It does not fix America’s long-run debt and deficit problems, nor reform the tax code, two things that Congress still must do. But this legislation is the right thing to do, now. This legislation increases the statutory debt ceiling in a manner that does not trigger an increase in taxes, but instead would force Congress to cut spending. The Chamber strongly supports the “Budget Control Act of 2011.” The Chamber will consider including votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.” [U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, Key Vote Letter, 8/1/11]
Donohue Threatened To “Get Rid Of” Republicans Who Didn't Support Raising Borrowing Limit.Time reported, “At a Chamber of Commerce event on Monday in Atlanta, Chamber President Tom Donohue had a pointed message for Republicans who won’t raise the borrowing limit: ‘We’ll get rid of you.’ Wall Street is fed up with the debt-limit brinkmanship; John Boehner received a chilly reception when he laid out Republican demands in New York City last month. In Atlanta, Donohue offered the House Speaker the kind of backhanded compliment that can leave a mark. ‘He’s growing into his shorts,’ Donohue said. ‘He’s put on his big boy pants.’” [Time, 6/14/11]
FACT: Karl Rove Praised The Debt Deal And House Republicans For Negotiating It. Apparently, Supporting The Debt Deal Is Just Fine As Long As You’re A Republican.
Rove Praised House Republicans For The Debt Deal They Negotiated And Passed, Called The Cuts In The Deal “A Down Payment.” In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove wrote, “For Republicans, the outcome was far more positive. House Republicans adroitly shifted the debate's focus from how much to raise the debt ceiling to how much should spending be cut. They achieved this even while the other two centers of power in any legislative struggle—the Senate and the White House—remained in Democratic hands. In doing so, Republicans achieved roughly two-thirds of the spending cuts sought in the budget the House passed in April, cuts which would have gone nowhere in the Senate without the debt-ceiling battle. . . . The cuts agreed to in the debt-ceiling debate are a down payment.” [Rove Op-Ed, Wall Street Journal, 8/4/11]
FACT: Allen’s Position Would Have Led The U.S. To Default On Our Debt For The First Time In History.
U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “This Legislation—The Product Of A Bipartisan Agreement Among Congressional Leaders And President Obama—Must Be Approved To Avert Default.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said, “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports the “Budget Control Act of 2011,” which would increase the statutory debt ceiling. This legislation—the product of a bipartisan agreement among Congressional leaders and President Obama—must be approved to avert default, reduce spending, and begin the process of getting America’s fiscal house in order.” [U.S. Chamber of Commerce Press Release,8/1/2011]
Washington Post: Allen’s Stance On Debt Deal A “Cynical Flip-Flop;” Allen Opposed While Cantor And McDonnell Supported Deal To Avoid Default. In August 2011, the Washington Post criticized Allen in an editorial headlined, “An Early Flip-Flop For Senate Candidate George Allen.” The Post wrote, “As a one-term Republican senator, George Allen voted four times to raise the nation’s debt ceiling — an expansion totaling $3.2 trillion — explaining at one point that, while it was unpleasant, increasing the limit was the responsible thing to do. Today, as a candidate trying to regain the Virginia Senate seat he lost in 2006, Mr. Allen has found the new debt-limiting religion, and he’s peddling it with the fervor of a convert. Condemning the spendthrifts in Washington among whom he used to move so collegially, Mr. Allen now blasts the eleventh-hour deal in Congress to avoid default, saying it provides no ‘long-term solution to our debt crisis.’ A spokesman confirms that Mr. Allen, had he been in the Senate, would have voted Tuesday with the minority to defeat the deal. So much for Mr. Allen’s erstwhile concern for doing the responsible thing. Mr. Allen’s cynical flip-flop can be seen partly in the context of Virginia’s Republican primary for the Senate, in which he faces former state Tea Party head Jamie Radtke, whose bona fides as a debt-ceiling diehard are unassailable. . . . [B]y insisting that a balanced-budget amendment be included in any deal, he sets the bar beyond the realm of political reality. In effect, Mr. Allen’s stance was no less likely to lead to default than Ms. Radtke’s. . . . Even as he condemned the debt deal, his fellow Virginia Republicans, including Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, were supporting it. . . . As a candidate for the Senate, his attempts to rebrand himself as an insurgent ring hollow.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/3/11]
- Allen Voted to Raise the Debt Limit Four Times. [Vote 148, 6/11/02; Vote 202, 5/23/03; Vote 213, 11/17/04; Vote 54, 3/16/06]
CLAIM: Crossroads Claims That Kaine Supports Defense Sequestration Cuts, Citing An Article In The News Virginian On July 29th, 2012.
FACT: The Article Referenced Actually Notes That Allen’s Attacks Against Kaine Have Been Blasted As “Hysteria-Laced” And That Kaine Believes Congress Can Work Out A Deal To Avoid Defense Cuts.
The News Virginian Article Cited In Crossroads Ad Noted That Allen’s Attacks On Kaine Over The Debt Deal Have Been Blasted As “Hysteria-Laced.” The News Virginian reported, “Why Allen might have won a tactical battle by pinning the defense cuts on Kaine, he did not fare as well in subsequent media coverage. A Friday Roanoke Times editorial referred to Allen’s ‘hysteria-laced’ attacks on Kaine regarding the budget deal. The newspaper said Kaine supported the proposal because it put pressure on Congress to straighten out the federal finances, and noted the support of Republicans and Democrats, including Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th.” [The News Virginian, 7/29/12]
The News Virginian Article Cited In Crossroads Ad Noted That Kaine Believes Congress Can Find A Deal To Avoid Defense Sequestration Cuts. The News Virginian reported, “A transcript from the debate shows Kaine said he thinks ‘Congress can still find a deal to avoid the need for cuts that are gonna jeopardize our nation’s defense.’” [The News Virginian, 7/29/12]
CLAIM: Kaine Supported A Deal That Will Cripple Virginia’s Economy And Cost Jobs.
FACT: Kaine Has Always Opposed Defense Sequestration Cuts.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Kaine Has Stated On Numerous Occasions That The Deep Defense Cuts Should Be Avoided.” The Richmond Times-Dispatch Virginia Politics Blog wrote, “While Kaine’s rival, George Allen, never supported the deal, Kaine has stated on numerous occasions that the deep defense cuts should be avoided.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, Virginia Politics Blog, 8/15/12]
Washington Post Noted That While Crossroads Attacks Kaine For Supporting The Debt Deal, “Kaine Has Also Said That The Planned Defense Cuts Were ‘The Wrong Cuts.’” The Washington Post Virginia Politics wrote, “The second Crossroads ad, ‘Cost,’ attacks Kaine for his support of the spending deal that created the failed ‘supercommittee’ and could now lead to hefty defense cuts in January unless an agreement is reached to avert it. The ad quotes Kaine saying the original deal was ‘the right thing to do,’ though Kaine has also said that the planned defense cuts were ‘the wrong cuts’ and that the two parties should negotiate a broad deficit-reduction deal.” [Washington Post, Virginia Politics, 8/15/12]
AP: “Kaine Was Clear” That His Support Of Debt Limit Deal Did Not Extend To Support For Sequestration. In an article headlined, “Allen Airs Campaign Ad On Possible Defense Cuts That Distorts Kaine’s Position,” The Associated Press reported, “Republicans who supported and helped broker the deal last summer have since sought to turn the issue against President Barack Obama, claiming he is willing to decimate the nation’s military strength with the automatic spending reductions. In the weekend debate, Allen tried to graft the national tactic into his neck-and-neck Senate race against Kaine, claiming that Virginia — home to the Pentagon and the world’s largest U.S. Navy base in Norfolk — could lose more than 200,000 defense-related jobs. ‘George, the deal was the right thing to do — as Eric Cantor said, as Gov. Bob McDonnell said, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said,’ Kaine replied when Allen made the charge during the debate. But Kaine was clear in his reply that his endorsement of last August’s stopgap did not extend to approving of the super committee’s failure or of the continued partisan gridlock between House Republicans and Senate Democrats that jeopardizes a deal by year’s end. ‘This is a time when we really have to elevate what we do because the challenges are significant,’ Kaine said in his response. ‘We need people who will come together and try to find a deal and I believe Congress can still find a deal to avoid the need for cuts that are going to jeopardize our nation’s defense.’” [Associated Press, 7/24/12]
After The Supercommittee’s Failure, Kaine Urged Congress To Find “A Meaningful Solution That Will Avoid Harmful Cuts To Defense.” After the failure of the Supercommittee, Governor Kaine issued the following statement: “Congress has, yet again, let Americans down by demonstrating that they will not work together to find common ground. . . . I urge Congress, after the flameout of the supercommittee process, to tackle the issue together. There are good models on the table–the Simpson/Bowles proposal and the Gang of Six–that can be the basis of a meaningful solution that will avoid harmful cuts to defense and health care, cuts that have a particularly negative impact on Virginia. There's only one reason for failure–Congress placing their own political self-interest above the national interest.” [Kaine Press Release, 11/21/11]
Kaine Said He Opposed “Sequestration, The Mandatory, Across-The-Board Cuts The Military Faces,” Adding That They Are “The Wrong Cuts.” The Suffolk News Herald wrote, “During a stop at the Suffolk News-Herald, Kaine talked about the economy, the military, Hampton Roads’ transportation issues and the general state of political discourse in Virginia and the nation. ‘We need people who know how to work together,’ he said, referring to the stalemates recently in both the U.S. Senate and the Virginia Senate. . . . Kaine said he is concerned about the prospect of sequestration, the mandatory, across-the-board cuts the military faces if Congress cannot come to a budget agreement by January. ‘I think I know how to make cuts the right way,’ he said, adding that sequestration would be ‘the wrong cuts.’ ‘I think it means Congress needs to get their act together.’” [Suffolk News Herald,4/12/12]
Kaine Said The White House And Congress Should Come Up With An Alternative Plan To Sequestration, Calling Them “The Wrong Cuts.” The Washington Post wrote, “On the subject of sequestration — a roughly $1 trillion cut to federal spending that would begin in January and has many of NVTC’s members concerned — Kaine said that if he were in office now, he would encourage the White House, the Pentagon and members of Congress to propose an alternative plan. ‘It’s much better to have a package that is the right cuts, not the wrong cuts,’ he said.” [Washington Post, 6/1/12]
ABC Roanoke: “Both Republican George Allen And Democrat Tim Kaine Say They Oppose The Massive Government Spending Cuts That Are Set To Kick In On January 1st.” WSET-ABC 13 (Roanoke) reported: “The two former Virginia governors vying for a U.S. Senate seat found some common ground while appearing before a panel of Northern Virginia business leaders today. Both Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine say they oppose the massive government spending cuts that are set to kick in on January 1st. They both say they favor simplifying the tax code, and also agreed that the University of Virginia's governing board was wrong to fire President Teresa Sullivan without a meeting.” [WSET-ABC 13 (Roanoke), 6/28/12]
Roanoke Times: “Kaine Said He Also Opposes The Defense Cuts And Has Called On Congress To Find A Compromise To Avert Them.” The Roanoke Times wrote, “Kaine said he also opposes the defense cuts and has called on Congress to find a compromise to avert them. Kaine’s campaign points out that Gov. Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Henrico County, backed last summer’s debt limit compromise, which ended a protracted partisan impasse that had pushed the federal government to the brink of default. The automatic defense cuts are in play because a congressional ‘supercommittee’ that was created under the Budget Control Act failed to come up with a long-term deficit reduction plan, largely because of a partisan dispute over taxes.” [Roanoke Times, Blue Ridge Caucus, 7/24/12]
FACT: Kaine Is Only Candidate In The Race To Support A Compromise To Avoid Sequestration.
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “If Congressional Republicans And The Obama White House Were Interested In Accomplishing Something, Then They Would Agree To Kaine's Compromise.” A Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial said, “Kaine — former governor of Virginia, former head of the Democratic National Committee, and current candidate for U.S. Senate — says the two sides should split the difference and extend the tax cuts for those making less than $500,000 a year. ‘If everyone sets partisanship aside, we can find the right balance,’ he says. . . . If congressional Republicans and the Obama White House were interested in accomplishing something, then they would agree to Kaine's compromise and take half a loaf each. Instead, we suspect both of them will use the tax issue as a political weapon, and then blame the other side when everyone goes hungry.” [Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/15/12]
CLAIM: Kaine Supported The Stimulus That Helped Create Our Budget Problems.
FACT: The Stimulus Helped The US Economy When It Was On The Brink. It Was George Allen’s Policies That Created Our Budget Problems.
EVEN GOVERNOR MCDONNELL ADMITTED STIMULUS HELPED
McDonnell Said Stimulus Helped Us In The Short Run And Said President Obama Deserved Some Credit. The Washington Post reported, “Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) wandered off script somewhat Sunday as a surrogate for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, conceding that President Obama’s stimulus measures helped his state weather the economic crisis. . . . ‘Did it help us in the short run with health care and education and spending to balance the budget? Sure,’ . . . During his CNN appearance, when asked whether Obama deserved ‘just a tiny bit of credit’ for helping the economy, McDonnell said: ‘Well, sure. I think there are national policies that have had some impact.’” [The Washington Post, 6/3/12]
U.S. Has Created More Jobs In Last Two Years, Than Were Created In The Entire Time Allen Was In The U.S. Senate. The U.S. has added more private sector jobs in the last two years – 3.9 million — than were added during Allen’s entire tenure in the Senate. [Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Washington Post: “CBO’s Own Analysis Found That The Package Added As Many As 3.3 Million Jobs To The Economy.” Reporting on the congressional testimony of CBO Director, Douglas Elmendorf, the Washington Post reported, “CBO’s own analysis found that the package added as many as 3.3 million jobs to the economy during the second quarter of 2010, and may have prevented the nation from lapsing back into recession.” [Washington Post, 6/6/12]
CBO Director “Emphatic About The Value Of The 2009 Stimulus;” 80 Percent Of Economists Agree That Stimulus Lowered Unemployment. The Washington Post wrote, “Did the stimulus work? Certainly not according to Republicans, who regularly blast President Obama’s ‘failed’ economic policies on the campaign trail… But on Wednesday, under questioning from skeptical Republicans, the director of the nonpartisan (and widely respected) Congressional Budget Office was emphatic about the value of the 2009 stimulus. And, he said, the vast majority of economists agree. In a survey conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 80 percent of economic experts agreed that, because of the stimulus, the U.S. unemployment rate was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been otherwise. ‘Only 4 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed,’ CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee. ‘That,’ he added, ‘is a distinct minority.’” [Washington Post, 6/6/12]
WHEN THE RECOVERY ACT PASSED, ECONOMY WAS IN FREE FALL
2008: Real GDP Contracted At An Annualized Rate Of 8.9% In The 4th Quarter Of 2008. According to data from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, real gross domestic product contracted at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 8.9% in the 4th quarter of 2008. [Press Release, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1/27/12]
The U.S. Lost 779,000 Jobs In January Of 2009. The Associated Press reported, “January's  job losses were the smallest since the recession began and are down from the huge loss of 779,000 jobs in January 2009.” [Associated Press, 2/5/10; Press Release, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2/5/10]
March 9th, 2009: Dow Closed At 6,547.05, A 12-Year Low. In an article headlined, “For Dow, Another 12-Year Low — S&P Also Finishes At Lowest Level In More Than A Decade As Wall Street Resumes Its Retreat On Economic Worries,” CNNMoney reported, “Stocks tumbled Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending at fresh 12-year lows. . . . The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) lost 80 points, or 1.2%, to end at 6,547.05, its lowest point since April 15, 1997. The S&P 500 (SPX) index lost nearly 7 points or 1%, to end at 676.53, its lowest point since Sept. 12, 1996.” [CNNMoney.Com, 3/9/09]
THE MAIN POLICY DRIVERS OF OUR CURRENT DEFICITS ARE THE BUSH TAX CUTS AND THE UNFUNDED WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN
New York Times Chart Showed That Bush Tax Cuts And War Spending “Were The Biggest Policy Drivers Of The Swing From Projected Surplus To Deficits.” An editorial by Teresa Tritch in the New York Times entitled, “How The Deficit Got This Big,” stated, “In 2001, President George W. Bush inherited a surplus, with projections by the Congressional Budget Office for ever-increasing surpluses, assuming continuation of the good economy and President Bill Clinton’s policies. But every year starting in 2002, the budget fell into deficit. In January 2009, just before President Obama took office, the budget office projected a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009 and deficits in subsequent years, based on continuing Mr. Bush’s policies and the effects of recession. Mr. Obama’s policies in 2009 and 2010, including the stimulus package, added to the deficits in those years but are largely temporary. . . . The second graph shows that under Mr. Bush, tax cuts and war spending were the biggest policy drivers of the swing from projected surpluses to deficits from 2002 to 2009.” [Editorial, Teresa Tritch, New York Times, 7/23/11]
Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Bush Tax Cuts, Wars, And The Economic Downturn “Explain Virtually The Entire Deficit Over The Next Ten Years.” An analysis of the federal budget by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated, “Some lawmakers, pundits, and others continue to say that President George W. Bush’s policies did not drive the projected federal deficits of the coming decade — that, instead, it was the policies of President Obama and Congress in 2009 and 2010. But, the fact remains: the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).” [The Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 5/10/11]
Projections Show That By 2019, Almost Half The Public Debt Of The U.S. Will Be Attributable To The Bush Tax Cuts And Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan. An analysis of the federal budget by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated, “[T]he Bush-era tax cuts and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars — including their associated interest costs — account for almost half of the projected public debt in 2019 (measured as a share of the economy) if we continue current policies. . . . Altogether, the economic downturn, the measures enacted to combat it (including the 2009 Recovery Act), and the financial rescue legislation play a smaller role in the projected debt increase over the next decade.” [The Center On Budget And Policy Priorities, 5/20/11]
FACT: Allen’s Fiscal Irresponsibility Created Our Budget Mess.
Allen Inherited A Record Surplus And Turned It Into A Massive Federal Deficit. The Washington Post reported, “When Bush took office in January 2001, the government was forecasting a $5.6 trillion budget surplus between then and 2011.” As CNN put it: “[T]he federal budget surplus for fiscal year 2000 amounted to at least $230 billion, making it the largest in U.S. history.” The Washington Post continued, “Instead, it is now expecting to accumulate an extra $3 trillion in debt — including a record $415 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.” [CNN, 9/27/2000; Washington Post, 10/8/04]
Allen Helped Turn A Surplus Into A Deficit In His Very First Full Fiscal Year In The Senate. [Office of Management And Budget, Historical Data]
PolitiFact: As Governor, Allen Increased Spending Over 40 Percent; His Claim That He Reined In Spending Rated “False.” In September 2011, PolitiFact Virginia wrote, “His campaign web site says that when Allen was governor, ‘He challenged critics and sentiment that suggested it couldn’t be done, reining in government spending and substantially reducing the size of the state workforce.’ . . . Allen endorsed $6 billion in additional spending when he was governor — a 40.7 percent increase. But looking at overall spending may be unfair. Slightly more than half of outlays during Allen’s years came from the non-general fund, over which a governor has limited control. The fund consists of earmarked revenues such as college tuition and federal highway grants. A better gauge comes from examining the general fund, which supports public education, health programs and public safety. It’s mostly supported by state income and sales taxes. The general fund was almost $6.8 billion when Allen took office. At the end of his term, he proposed a $9.9 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998. That means Allen endorsed $3.1 billion in additional general fund spending when he was governor — a 45.6.percent rise. . . . Our ruling: Allen takes credit for ‘reining in state spending’ when he was governor. . . . We rate the statement False.” [PolitiFact Virginia, 9/12/11]