After President Obama’s huge victory over Mitt Romney, conservatives are already trying to spin the results by insisting that his big win does not mean that Americans favor the agenda he actively campaigned on. For example, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said that voters actually elected Republicans “to be in charge” and resist tax increases while Weekly Standard columnist Fred Barnes claimed Obama “hardly has a mandate for anything,” like his tax policy, because it was a “status quo election.”
Naturally, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) told Tony Perkins last week on Washington Watch Weekly that President Obama and the House GOP may not come to a tax deal before the fiscal deadline because he fears that the Obama administration “is going to misinterpret this past election and say, ‘well we campaign on increasing tax rates, not just revenues but increasing tax rates, and maintaining our spending.’” Indeed, Obama did make raising taxes on high earners a top campaign priority and both post-election polls and exit polls found that 60 percent of support raising taxes on income over $250,000. But apparently, Huizenga believes that House Republicans, who actually received fewer votes than Democratic House candidates, get to decide for Obama how to interpret his victory.
Perkins: I think you’re right, no one really knows what will the effect of that be. It could actually have a—it’s certainly not going to have a positive effect upon the families that are paying that increased taxation—but in terms of the cuts that may be the only way we get to real cuts.
Huizenga: And that would be sad, frankly, that would be horribly sad, tragic and once again demonstrate how we don’t have the courage of our convictions. We know we need to go further, faster, when it comes to controlling our spending. I’m afraid that this administration is going to misinterpret this past election and say, ‘well we campaign on increasing tax rates, not just revenues but increasing tax rates, and maintaining our spending.’ That’s why I think you saw [AFL-CIO president] Richard Trumka and others all trot to the White House and extract these blood oaths that no reforms to any of the entitlement programs are allowed to be on the table and all these other things, and that’s just not reality.