Geithner plays attack dog
November 9th, 2011
05:33 PM ET

Geithner plays attack dog

He’s President Obama’s top economic advisor. But these days, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is delving into raw politics.

CNN caught up with Geithner at an Intel Corp. manufacturing plant in Chandler, Arizona Tuesday. Geithner’s location alone is significant: Arizona is key to the president’s reelection efforts – a swing state with 10 electoral votes where Obama garnered a respectable 45 percent of the vote in 2008 despite the fact that Arizona’s own John McCain was on the opposing ticket.

It was there the treasury secretary took a break from negotiating Europe’s financial future to instead sell the president’s jobs bill – and the president’s political message – with unusual force.

He slammed the House Republicans’ economic proposals while calling on the GOP to start acting immediately.

“I don't think there is a Republican plan for tax reform. And there is no Republican plan to create jobs and economic growth,” said Geithner, adding later, “Unless the Republicans are willing to do more things to help the economy right now, then unemployment will stay too high.”

And he didn’t shy away from campaign politics either, when asked about Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney’s lengthy debt reduction plan that calls for significant government cuts.

“You can't cut your way to growth,” Geithner said. “We're in the middle of a very important debate about what the government can do and should do to make the economy stronger. But it would make us weaker as a country if we were to go out and cut our way to growth.”

Meanwhile, Geithner was eager to defend the president’s own stewardship of the economy over the last three years.

“The economy is in a much stronger position than when he first took office because he was able to put out the financial fires and restart economic growth,” he said.

And as for the anger toward Wall Street as of late over the fact that few fat cats have paid a price for the financial turmoil some of their actions caused, Geithner had this to say:

“Stay tuned. The final chapter on that has not been written.”

Republicans were quick to respond to Geithner's jabs. Brendan Buck, a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner said, “Perhaps Mr. Geithner has too much on his plate to notice that the House has passed 22 bipartisan jobs bills that are currently sitting in the Democratic-run Senate. Like the President, the Treasury Secretary appears to be paying more attention to campaign talking points than what’s taking place in Congress.”

And Adrea Saul, a spokesperson at the Romney campaign, declared, "President Obama’s failed policies have devastated the middle class."

"President Obama has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars only to see more jobs lost, more families lose their homes, and our country lose its AAA credit rating. Mitt Romney is a conservative businessman who has actually created jobs," Saul added. "He believes that restoring our country’s fiscal health is critical to restoring the country’s economic foundation and ensure that we are best country in the world for businesses to grow and hire.”

soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Howard

    The blindly devoted obama worshipers are not a new phenomena. You can find celebrity worshipers waiting for hours in the freezing cold ... just for a moment's glance of their favorite celebrity. It doesn't matter if the celebrity they fawn over is a drug addict, or beats his wife. This mindset is putty in the hands of public relations and propaganda experts. Historically, the same 'deer in the headlights' followers blindly worshiped the likes of Mao, Hitler, Stalin, and other demagogues, with a charismatic / hypnotic spell over their weak minded. Even when obama is destroying our country, right before their eyes, they insist on going down with the obama ship of fools. It might be compassionate to pity them, but for the fact that they are taking the rest of us, as well as our children down with them.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Patriot Awesome

      How is he destroying our country exactly? So far he's the only one trying to dig us out of the mess that Bush and 6 years of Republican control of the house and Senate has gotten us into. Also, we were on a steady path to recovery until the Republicans won the house in 2010. Where are those jobs they promised? They've been doing NOTHING but passing symbolic bills and blocking anything that would improve the economy.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
      • NYC REPUB

        I totally agree, people forget, and the media as well, that unemployment was at 8.7% in February/March of this year. The GOP began stripping aide from states and cutting, guess what? We slowed down, and the unemployment rate ticked up.

        November 9, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
      • durundal

        not to mention that the token bills that the republicans passed as 'jobs bills' were all the same failed concept of 'let the rich get richer and maybe we can eat the table scraps'. The only reason they passed the garbage legislation that they knew would never pass was so they could claim they were trying to help the american 'people'. Oddly enough, they also define big businesses as 'people' too. Someone over there clearly has a sense of humor, but has gotten a little too into the game-playing mindset and forgotten about their duty as elected officials...

        November 10, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Jason

      This is the same post you made on the Swag executive order story. You are nothing but an activitst political blogger.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • Scott Key

      @HOWARD: President Abraham Lincoln is reported to have once said, and I paraphrase, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." With your dribble at the head of this page, we can all safely say that you have removed all doubt.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
      • Jay in NC

        Proverbs 17:28 "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

        November 10, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • quinLee

      You left out a few words in your ignorant rant such as: flag, flagpin, Acorn, Kenya, Sharia Law, Solyndra. If you are going to be a part of the know-nothing crowd you have to keep up. Just keep watching Fox and you'll get better at it.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
    • racegirl1

      Like you don't worship the ground Ronald Regan walked on. He put his pants on one leg at a time and his poop stunk just like everyone else.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm |
      • durundal

        modern day repubs could care less about reagan. All said and done, the man was a so-so president. His image however proved to be far more useful as a rallying point. This is why I tend to think today that the man and the 'legend' have complete ly diverged!

        November 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  2. sara

    I don't worship Reaganomics at all. I will stand with this president in 2012. He and his Treasury Secretary has worked their butts off in stabalizing the financial and job growth in this country. When they took office....THERE WERE NO GROWTH!!!!!!! @ Howard....yes OUR country was destroyed 3 Decades ago and Bush took it to the FINALE. Sounds like you're having misplaced anger.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • jack

      Indeed. Well put. It's a minor miracle we've done as well as we have given the economic storm the second half of 2008 – dubya's last few months BTW howard – and the unceasing effort in congress to either do nothing or make sure what is done favors the wealthy.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  3. Independant One

    Our president has tried to propose legislation that will help to create jobs. The republican response is to block any
    effort to help improve our economy. It will take time to recover from the mess that Bush put us into. Every effort that
    has been made to improve things have been blocked by the republicans as their only goal is to defeat Obama.

    Take a look at the elections in Ohio where the majority have finally had enough and put an end efforts to
    eliminate the middle class. Throw out all the republicans at the next election and lets make some progress in
    restoring the economy of this great nation. Say no the the party of NO!

    November 9, 2011 at 6:38 pm |
  4. Tom from Canonsburg

    People always want to return to the good old days. When was that exactly? Reagan wanted to go back to Coolidge. What was so good then? The rich got richer and the middle class shrunk. There is much talk about the Founders. The founders spoke often of fairness. There was nothing fair about Reagan or the village idiot (W) from Texas. Distortion is the GOP's game and fairness is nowhere on their agenda.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  5. jerry

    There are 6000 ear marks in this is nothing but a campaign for me...pleazzzzz. And Geitner is campaigning for him...does this not bother anyone? The treasury secretary of the United States of America out selling ear marks for his master...makes me sick.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
    • george

      No jerry we are not bothered at all, here is someone who has been part of successfully influencing the stabilization of the US financial markets so much so that we have a modest economic growth to date! I wellcome anyone who flouts ideas and policies that would create jobs. I will tell you what bothers me, a speculative and paranoid individual like you jerry with zero credentials and who has nothing to show for what he or she has done to improve the well being of this nation least for himself other than post obtuse comments. Let Geithner tell us where it is at, it is part of his job and he has the credentials.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  6. Liz Carter in Georgia

    Patriot Awesome; those are my sentiments exactly. Thanks..but you know there are some on this site that thinks that we are all DRUNK off of KOOL-AID for real; and that if they continue with their repetitious twisted lies, spin, vitriol and drama, eventually it will stick! They're in fact, the ones who're DRUNK off of the GOPs' con 'TEA'. Even when the President accomplishes something that under any other President would be percieved as a good thing, this ILK finds a way to reduce or demean that! HATE/SICK!

    November 9, 2011 at 8:06 pm |
  7. Ray E. Georgia

    Dear Folks,
    Our country has been going down the drain for about 75 years. Possibly starting with FDR and his New Deal. A better explanation is today called the Nanny State. Big Government Programs that are/were supposed to fix all the problems. But after 75 years of Social Engineering nothing is better. 9 to 16 Percent unemployment, 46 Million on Food Stamps, 15 Percent below the Poverty Level, millions of Morgages under water. That didn't happen in the last 10 years. And it may get no better in the next ten years. You better take a good look at what's going on.

    November 9, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • manhandler

      FDR's new deal brought this country out of the Depression and put people to work. If people like you got your way we'd have a Dictator by now who controlled ALL the wealth and we'd all be slaves. And your wrong...alot of this DID happen on Bushies watch...and it was because of tax cuts for the wealthy and two foolish unfunded wars. Clinton left the country with a surplus.

      November 9, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
      • Bill Jackson

        FDR's new deal wasted money and kept the nation in a depression for an additional 6-years. The start of WW-2 is what ended the depression. This FACT is NOT in dispute. Pick up a history book some time and think before posting.

        November 10, 2011 at 8:05 am |
      • steve

        No fdr did not bring us out of the depression. In fact he prolonged it by raising taxes and increase in spending in 36 only to go back into recession in 37. Then he increased the price of gold at the gold window and inflated the economy dooming us for three more years. We never recovered until just before we entered wwII and then it was because we build planes and ships for europe. the numbers don't lie but self interested and politically bent folks do.

        November 10, 2011 at 9:36 am |
      • steve

        Also clinton did not have a surplus check the omb numbers. What clinton did was steal from SS to make it appear that he had a balanced budget, though it has never been paid back. That is like the previous deficit deal said it would cut 600 billion but only came up with 60 million. become informed stop repeating the lies.

        November 10, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  8. GuyinVA

    Tim who? Larcenous tax cheat. Isn't there a "shovel ready" job for him somewhere? The he could stop doing what he's doing... nothing.

    November 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm |
  9. mike with a mustache

    @ Ray E Georgia: The fact that you think that the nation started to decline right after the great depression tells us all we need to know about you.

    November 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
  10. James

    Go back to counting Beans guy–

    November 9, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  11. Bill in Florida

    I would edit the second sentence in the second paragraph from "Arizona is key to the president’s reelection efforts" to "Arizona is ONE OF THE keys to the president’s reelection efforts". Given that Obama won in an electoral landslide in 2008 while LOSING in Arizona, that state isn't at all needed for Obama to be re-elected. But if Obama can swing Arizona to the Dems, then he will be virtually assured of re-election.

    November 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm |
  12. John

    From the article: “You can't cut your way to growth,” Geithner said.

    Then lower taxes, so the taxpayer doesn't have to cut his spending.

    November 10, 2011 at 1:31 am |
  13. Thomas

    @ jerry

    How was work ?
    Did you pick up the video Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb ?

    Jerry do you think Tim Geithner looks like Robert Stack from the Untouchables.

    November 10, 2011 at 1:33 am |
  14. Eldon

    Democrats waste lives and money. Only care about looking good not doing what is right. They are taking away are freedom.

    November 10, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  15. J.V.Hodgson

    A few times blogs ago Republicans via Boehner claimed 15 jobs bills now its 22Jobs bills. I'm just a nerd CNN!! Will you tell me please the15 or 22 Jobs bills ( house references) they passed and votes they claim were bi partisan, The CBO evaluation of same on jobs increase /unemployment reduction, or GDP increase and Debt reduction.
    We can only be realistic if these are evaluated to the same criteria as the AJA from Obama which is paid for and is not the same as the Recovery act which was a pure government spend but reduced unemployment levels and brought recessionary economics under control.Per most economists.

    November 10, 2011 at 4:40 am |
  16. dat5r

    Romney created jobs? Maybe overseas, but his state is ranked 47th in job creation.

    November 10, 2011 at 9:03 am |
  17. wm ortman

    I would love anyone posting here to post your sources of information when posting earth shaking revolations. That way we will clearly be able to tell scholars from fools tks!

    November 10, 2011 at 10:32 am |
  18. Dave Jaipersaud

    To those talking heads.

    All they do is criticize everything that is good for this country and preach that tax cut for the 2% elite rich folks in America is the medicine for all of this country’s problems. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN? MORE TAX CUTS FOR THE TOP 2% OF AMERICANS WILL DO NOTHING FOR THE OTHER 98% OF "REAL AMERICANS". THAT IS WHAT GOT US INTO THIS MESS IN THE FIRST PLACE. I have nothing against the rich folks, but they should not get more tax breaks than the rest of us (middle-class). Basically, the Republicans main goal is to take tax benefits from the middle-class and give it to the top 2%. People! you have to think for yourself. Don’t listen to the down-right lies and deceptions of the Republicans. If you are making less than $250,000, under the Republican tax plan, your taxes will be higher. Under the Democrat tax plan, you will actually pay less tax than you are currently paying. So if you currently make less than $250,000 and you want to pay less tax you should listen to the facts and vote for the party that will actually reduce your taxes.

    For those middle-class and poor folks that are upset because you think the current administration is taxing you too much and you voted or plan to vote for the Republican party. You should cut a check right now to the government for the tax break you got under this administration. Had McCain won the election, you would have had to pay more taxes. If you recall, during the campaign for the general election, there were a number of independent articles that showed how much more taxes you would have paid, under the Republican tax plan. So if tax is your beef, and you voted and are planning to vote Republican, you are being a hypostatic or plain stupid. Be honest and ask yourself “what are you really upset about” Is it taxes or “something else” ?????

    November 10, 2011 at 11:29 am |
  19. Liz Carter in Georgia

    LOL! That is Soooo true. So what does that tell you Jay? What have you learned? LOL!

    November 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm |