Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D) explained Sunday that S&P's downgrade of U.S. credit was primarily the fault of the tea party.
"I think the Standard & Poor's downgrade is a good thing because I think it underlines the fact that you can't get out of this without raising revenues," Dean told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "Sixty percent of the deficit is due to the Bush tax cuts. That's CBO saying that not me. You can't get out of this without raising revenues. It is impossible."
"I think this is a tea party problem," he continued. "They're totally unreasonable. They're not founded in reality. I think they've been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it. But the fact of the matter is that the president is going to get the blame and the credit for what goes right whether he deserves it or not."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) shot back that he thought the tea party was actually a solution to the country's economic problems.
"The tea party is a result of what's wrong in Washington," Graham said. "They didn't create all of this mess. It was an energy created by people seeing the country slipping away and wanting to do something about it. The tea party is is for a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. So am I."
"The truth of the matter is if President Obama were -- if he were in the South Eastern Conference, he'd be fired as a coach," he added. "He would not have his contract renewed. Everything is worse. Unemployment is up by 18 percent. Gas prices are up by 93 percent. Everything -- housing prices are down by 12 percent. He's had a chance. We're three years into this. He's failing and it's not the tea party's fault. What was hope and change is despair and confusion. People are not creating jobs in this country because they think Howard Dean is going to raise their taxes... The tea party is not the problem. Washington was broken before they got here. I hope they can help us fix it."
"You said President Obama would be fired," Dean noted. "The truth is that if this were a private corporation, President Obama would fire you all."