During an interview that aired on ABC’s This Week, former President Bill Clinton said the spending cuts proposed by House Republicans are “spiteful” and will “take food off the table” of low-income Americans.
“If I were the president, I wouldn’t negotiate over these draconian cuts that are going to take food off the table of low-income working people, while they leave all the agricultural subsidies in for high-income farmers and everything else. I just think it’s — it’s chilling to me,” Clinton told George Stephanopoulos in an interview during the Clinton Global Initiative.
“The entitlement spending is going down,” he continued, “as unemployment rate drops and the economy grows. Half of the deficit has almost disappeared … It seems almost spiteful.”
“But doesn’t it all come undone if there is a default? I mean, all this, if you’re not going to negotiate, you’re betting on the other side simply caving.” Stephanopoulos said of the GOP.
“This is the House Republicans and the Tea Party people saying, ‘We don’t want to negotiate with the Democrats. … We want to dictate over the Senate, over the House Democrats, over the Speaker of the House of our own party and over the president,’” the former president said.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the federal government will reach its borrowing limit of Oct. 17, ABC News reported. It will go into default if the debt ceiling is not raised, having a severe impact on the economy.
Clinton said he negotiated “extremely minor” compromises in order to reach a deal, but now the time has run out.
"There's no opportunity for that in this forum. We don't have enough time,” he said.
"The Republicans say, 'You just haven't given us enough cuts in the things we want to cut. And we've decided what we want to cut and we've decided what we don't want to cut. We don't want to negotiate with the Democrats in the House. And we have no intention of doing what the law requires that we negotiate with the Senate, because the Senate has the Democratic majority.'"
Clinton concluded, "You can't negotiate over that. And I think (Obama's) right not to."