Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) couldn't help but laugh on Wednesday as he corrected the hosts of Fox & Friends for repeating incorrect Republican talking points about how President Barack Obama handled fiscal cliff negotiations.
In an interview following the passage of the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” Smith told the Fox News hosts that he had voted no because the bill made most of the Bush tax cuts permanent and did not address sequestration cuts to the military and other programs.
"It's great that you're worried about spending and taxes but, you know, there are a lot of people who are watching this and they see the president and he really took no leadership when it comes to cutting spending with the budget and with this latest crisis," co-host Steve Doocy asserted. "So, it seems like you're at odds with the president."
"I don't actually agree with that," Smith insisted. "The president put on the table cuts to entitlements. He put on the table the chained CPI issue and a variety of other issues."
"But that was a non-starter for a lot of people in your party," Doocy interrupted, evoking laughter from the Washington Democrat.
"Well, no, here's the thing," Smith explained. "You can say, 'Well, he's not showing leadership.' But now what you're saying is, 'He showed leadership, but nobody else was willing to.' So, it's really hard to blame the president. As long as we're talking about the president, let me also make the point, Speaker [John] Boehner and the Republicans, what have they put on the table in terms of specific spending cuts?"
"Look at the Ryan plan," co-host Brian Kilmeade suggested, pointing to a controversial budget proposal authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
"Well, the Ryan plan was not specific spending cuts," Smith schooled. "A budget is not an appropriations bill, Brian. The budget said, 'Across the board, we will cut 10 percent. We're not going to tell you what, we're not going to tell you where, we're just going to imagine that it's going to happen.' In terms of specific spending cuts, the president has actually put more on the table during this last negotiation than the so-called fiscal conservatives leading the House."
"Really?" Kilmeade replied. "Because I don't know anything that he wanted to cut besides defense."
"I just told you. Entitlements," Smith insisted. "Again, if you want to say he's having trouble getting the country behind a fiscally-responsible approach, that's one thing. If you want to say he hasn't shown leadership, well, that's different. He said, 'Here's some ideas, here's some things I'm willing to do.' And it wasn't just Democrats who were running away from those ideas."
(h/t: Think Progress)