Earlier today, President Barack Obama spoke about the urgency of raising the debt ceiling at a his final first-term White House press conference.
Midway through, Major Garrett of CBS reminded the President of harsh objections to his plan from a young, ambitious Senator.
In 2006, then-Sen. Barack Obama gave a floor speech defending his decision to vote against an increase in the debt ceiling under President George W. Bush.
In it, he decries the soaring national debt, using language that would inspire a Republican this year.
In 2006, Republicans were on the other side of the debate, adamant about raising the debt ceiling under Bush. For instance, right after Obama’s floor speech, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley gave a speech urging his fellow senators to raise the debt ceiling.
Mr. OBAMA: Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ”the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.
In the midst of the first debt-ceiling standoff in 2011, Obama was asked about his flip by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. He chalked it up as a “political vote” and said his mindset changed as President.
“That was just an example of a new senator making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country,” Obama said then. “And I’m the first one to acknowledge it.”
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