Sen. Pat Toomey says Dems torpedoed debt panel to protect Obama

Supercommittee member Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) accused Democrats on
Monday of torpedoing the deficit supercommittee because a success would
have “stepped on” President Obama’s campaign narrative.

Speaking Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Toomey said there’s “something
to” suggestions that Democrats had an incentive to see the
supercommittee fail.

“That goes to the asymmetry of the
incentives and I think there was something to that,” Toomey said. “The
president’s fundamental campaign message was to run against Congress —
never mind the fact that half of Congress is controlled by the
Democrats, but that’s his purpose, and certainly an agreement in this
committee would have stepped on that narrative for the president.”

{mosads}Toomey also suggested that some Democrats on the supercommittee were
willing to negotiate with Republicans not to avoid the consequences of
a failed committee, but rather “for their own personal satisfaction of
having done something important.”

“That feeling wasn’t strong enough for them to overcome the
left wing of their caucus screaming for big tax increases and ‘don’t
touch the entitlements,’ which was the message they heard from that part
of their party and unfortunately ultimately listened to,” he said.

The supercommittee’s failure last week to reach an agreement on at
least $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts triggered automatic across-the-board
spending cuts, about half of which will be taken from the Pentagon’s

Toomey said Democrats weren’t motivated to reach a deal because the
automatic cuts triggered by the panel’s failure were unfairly weighted
toward programs that are important to Republicans.

“There was an
asymmetry in the motivation,” Toomey told Townhall Radio. “If you just
look at the sequester, let’s face it, there are a lot of Democrats whose
lifelong ambition has been to cut defense spending.”

Toomey has said that he will look to “change the configuration” of the cuts to protect defense spending.

Obama has said that he will veto any attempt to circumvent the automatic cuts.

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