Rand Paul knocks GOP leadership over sequester

Rand Paul

During an appearence last week on CNN, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dismissed the blame and panic coming from the White House over the looming sequester. Sen. Paul told Wolf Biltzer that President Obama ultimately signed the sequester into law, despite his blame shifting to the GOP, and explained that the cuts aren’t even real reductions.

But while he’s been critical of President Obama, Sen. Paul has some strong words for his own party, telling a group of conservatives in New York last night that Republican leaders have been too quick to surrender on battles with the White House:

Speaking to a meeting of influential conservatives here Monday night, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul criticized his fellow Republicans in Congress for lacking a unified leadership on the upcoming sequestration.

“We announce our surrender before we get started on every battle,” Paul said. “That literally is our problem.”

Sen. Paul urged his colleagues to get behind his alternative to the sequester, a proposal that would cut spending by $85.75 billion annually by enacting a number of cost-saving measures, including a moratorium on the hiring of new federal workers, bringing their pay in line with the private-sector, and requiring competitive bidding for government contracts.

The criticism may seem harsh, but it’s hard to describe the GOP’s “strategy” — if you want to call it that — as anything other than surrender. Republicans have had terrible messaging on the sequester, using much of the same doomsday-style rhetoric as President Obama. After all, we’re talking about a marginal spending cut, when it’s all said and done.

This hasn’t helped them offer a contrast in visions because they’re not running away from the limited government message on which they’re run. This anti-sequester message that leadership has been using hurts them because they’re ceding ground away.

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