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Roll Call

Weiner Accuses Obama of ‘Punting on Third Down’

Tom Williams/Roll Call

Rep. Anthony Weiner ripped President Barack Obama on Monday for cutting a deal with Republicans to extend tax cuts for upper-income Americans without putting up a fight for core Democratic ideals.

“Middle class Americans need someone to fight for them. They see this deal as punting on third down. It seems the president is not seeing the value of being on offense,” the New York Democrat said in a statement.

Weiner, one of the most outspoken liberals in the House, said Obama needs to remember that governing is not just “a series of transactions” but a competition of ideas. He said Democrats should welcome a public fight with Republicans over their efforts to “add to our deficit and defend the interests of billionaires” in their push for extending all Bush-era tax cuts, including those for people making more than $250,000. Democrats maintain the cuts should only be extended for the middle class or those couples making less than $250,000 a year. All of the tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year.

“We should be standing up for the middle class and extending unemployment insurance for out-of-work Americans,” Weiner said. “Deals come after we fight for ideals. Let’s do that first.”

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