Monday, July 18, 2011

GOP leaders teaching Tea Party members to compromise?

Slowly, senior Republicans have been walking their newer colleagues off that position. Boehner, McConnell and the rest know what will happen if Republicans and Democrats cannot work out a deal; what's more, they believe voters will ultimately blame them for obstruction, rather than Democrats. "The leadership uniformally understands the need to reach some kind of agreement that will avoid default," said a senior House Republican aide.

McConnell has publicly made the case that a default will have serious negative political fallout for the GOP. In an interview on conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham's program on Wednesday, McConnell said Democrats "want to blame the economy on us and the reason default is no better an idea today than when Newt Gingrich tried it in 1995 is that it destroys your brand. It would give the president an opportunity to blame Republicans for a bad economy."

Privately, House Republicans have been driving home the message that a failure to increase the debt ceiling would be a disaster. Sources said Boehner has been "aggressive," in one aide's words, in articulating the need to reach a deal.