The Tea Party Patriots attacked the Obama administration for Standard & Poor’s downgrade of the national credit rating the day after senior Democrats tried to blame the Tea Party movement for S&P’s move.
The group seized on an editorial in a Chinese government-run newspaper that said the U.S. needed to address its “mounting debts.”
“When Washington, D.C., gets slammed from the right by communists, you know we have a problem with our leadership,” Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler said. “[Politicians’] muddled thinking comes from a lack of leadership that has failed to face our debt problems or corral overspending.”
Their response comes as recent polls show the debt-ceiling debate hurt the Tea Party’s standing with voters. A CBS News/New York Times poll conducted the first week of August had 40 percent of Americans disapproving of the Tea Party, with only 20 percent in support.
Democrats were quick to blame the movement for S&P’s actions.
“The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade,” David Axelrod, a top adviser for President Obama’s reelection campaign, said Sunday on CBS. The United States came close to default, Axelrod said, because “strident voices” in the Tea Party were willing to see the country fall short of its debt obligations.
“Not one of the Republican presidential candidates stood up in opposition to that,” he said.
Standard & Poor’s blamed both mounting debt and the uncertainty created by the debt-ceiling negotiations for the downgrade from AAA to AA+, the first time the U.S. government has been downgraded since S&P gave it the AAA rating in 1917.
The Tea Party Patriots were the only major Tea Party group that refused to support any form of debt ceiling increase -- the other major Tea Party groups backed Republicans' plan to include a balanced budget amendment and cut spending.
Erik Wasson contributed.
This post was updated at 3:02pm.