Boehner: No, GOP won't 'cave' in budget talks 

House Speaker John Boehner's office is pushing back against speculation that Republican negotiators will "cave" to President Obama in talks on raising the national debt ceiling.  "Every Republican has been clear as crystal: No tax hikes," says a Boehner spokesman.  "Tax hikes destroy jobs and they cannot, and will not, pass the House."

The "clear as crystal" formulation in the spokesman's response is no accident.  Boehner is having to respond today in part because of a statement Thursday night by Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol that Republicans "are getting ready to cave in a pretty big way on Sunday," when budget talks resume.  "It sounds as if it's heading towards a deal," Kristol said on Fox News.  "It's not a deal that I'm going to like, I suspect, and I think it's going to be a bad deal for conservatives and Republicans. But I think they are intimidated. The president has been running around talking about corporate jets and the rich and how the sky is going to fall unless Republicans cave. And I think they're getting ready to cave in a pretty big way on Sunday."

Citing Kristol's prediction, talk show host Rush Limbaugh began his program Friday with a warning to Republicans.  If the GOP does, in fact, cave to Obama, Limbaugh said, "You can say goodbye to the Republican National Committee," which Limbaugh said would "implode" because donors would stop giving.  "You can say hello to an Obama second term," Limbaugh continued, "because there will be a third party."  That third party will so divide Republicans and conservatives, Limbaugh suggested, that Obama will win a second term easily.

Fighting back, House Republicans say it is "absurd" to believe that the GOP would agree to a tax increase.  And in a news conference Friday morning, Boehner himself stressed that, "There is no agreement, in private or in public…It's not like there is some imminent deal about to happen."

About The Author

Byron York

Bio:

Byron York is the Examiner’s chief political correspondent. His column appears Tuesdays and Fridays. He blogs throughout the week at Beltway Confidential.

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