Once again on Fox News Sunday, what's up is down and black is white in conservative upside-down land. Liz Cheney is asked about President Obama calling for an extension of the payroll tax holiday and whether Republicans refusing to do so would be bad for them because they showed no similar concerns when it came to paying for the Bush tax cuts which primarily benefited the wealthy.
Naturally Cheney tried to turn it around to President Obama, claiming that if he had somehow been directly involved with the "Super Committee", Republicans might have been willing to strike some kind of deal with the Democrats instead of just politicizing the process more than it was already.
Cheney also accused the President of wanting to sabotage the economy on purpose for political gain. As many have already pointed out, if anyone can be accused of sabotaging the economy, purely for political gain, it's the Republicans.
Transcript below the fold.
WALLACE: President Obama arguing to extend the payroll tax cut and GOP super committee member Senator Pat Toomey calling for serious entitlement reform as both sides try to frame the debate going into the 2012 election.
We're back now with the panel.
So, Charles, let's start with the immediate problem, what runs out at the end of this year and what Congress is or isn't going to do about extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment, insurance benefits.
I was a little surprised that Senator Kyl, in the preceding segment, was as tough as he was and seemed to indicate he's going to oppose extending the payroll tax cuts.
LANE: I was surprised by that, too. And you saw Dick Durbin pounce on that point because the politics -- let's put the budget and the economics to one side -- I do think the politics favor President Obama and the Democrats. Their position is "We want to give the average guy $1,000. The Republicans don't."
And in politics, I think it's generally safer to be on the side of giving money away, notwithstanding the fact that we do have this big deficit. And, you know, the Democrats have maneuvered the Republicans, strangely enough, into the position of being -- looking like they're against a tax cut.
Jon Kyl's explanation is we don't want to offset that by raising taxes on job creators, but the Democrats can portray that as protecting millionaires and so forth, and I think, on net, this creates a dilemma for the Republicans.
I will be curious to see if the line that Jon Kyl staked out here today is really going to hold up. Because it was, as you say, the most definitive thing I've heard them say so far.
WALLACE: Liz, let's talk about that. I mean, do the White House and Democrats -- and I agree that Dick Durbin looked like the wolf devouring the lamb, not to say Kyl is a lamb, but -- but he clearly thought it was a political advantage for him to portray the Republicans as fighting for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy but willing to let the tax cuts -- payroll tax cuts for the middle class disappear.
Is that a problem for Republicans?
CHENEY: Look, I think it is exactly what we have seen President Obama and the Democrats do now for many, many months, and particularly with the super committee, which is play a cynical political game here.
The president of the United States has put no serious plan on the table for dealing with entitlements, which is the biggest challenge that we face economically right now.
The president of the United States, I don't think, made a single phone call to the people on the super committee. I talked to one Republican member of the super committee who said he reached out numerous times to the White House to say, "We want a deal; we need a deal," and was completely given the back of his hand.
There was no effort here. The president basically seems to have made the calculation that he's going to let the next 13 months of the American economy slide for the sake of his own, you know, political...
WALLACE: I'm not asking whether it's cynical. I'm asking, will it work?
CHENEY: I don't think it will work. I think that you've got a different kind of an atmosphere in the country now. I think people understand absolutely the kind of crisis that we're facing.
And I think, when you've got a president of the United States who has walked away, who has refused to deal with something that both Democrats and Republicans have come together to say this really matters, I just -- it's very difficult for me to see that the American people are going to buy into it and give him another term.
What I'm concerned about is what happens in the next 13 months here and whether or not we'll be able to actually stop the slide that we're seeing in the economy with the lack of leadership from the White House.