On Wednesday morning's edition of “Fox & Friends,” Sen. Orrin Hatch vented his frustration on the way the press has covered the impasse between President Obama and members of Congress as they try to resolve the “fiscal cliff” financial crisis.
During the segment with host Steve Doocy, the Utah Republican stated that Obama can propose solutions that are not even supported by Congressional Democrats and attend campaign stops rather than negotiate directly with Congress, and the “major media” reserves criticism of his actions. “It’s amazing to me that they let him get away with it,” he said.
Hatch's comments were made after Doocy stated:
For generations, Americans have always been trying to make sure that our children and our children's children wind up with a better America, but you know, with this president and this spending, with this debt and the amount going forward, which our children and our children's children are going to have to pay for, maybe the Republicans should just let him sail off the edge and do it for the children.
“Well, it may come down to that, but you've got to admit the vast majority of our 'major media' in this country is on his side, no matter what he does,” Hatch replied. “Even though what he’s doing is outrageous -- that his own party won’t support.
“And we have a president who just doesn't meet with the people who can help put this together,” he added. “The day he announced a crazy new program that nobody had heard about before, he was out at a toy factory, continuing campaigning “
Hatch was referring to Obama's trip on Friday to Hatfield, Pa., where he stated that the fiscal cliff isn't just "some run-of-the-mill debate" and said he believes that “Congress can still work together.”
According to Colleen McCain Nelson of the Wall Street Journal, “the speech near Philadelphia had all the trappings of a campaign event, as the president toured a manufacturing plant and then spoke to a supportive crowd.”
"If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see their income taxes automatically go up on Jan. 1," Obama said. "I'm assuming that doesn't sound too good to you. That's sort of like the lump of coal that you get for Christmas. That's a Scrooge Christmas."
The event was held one day after the president put forth a budget proposal that calls for a $1.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years, $50 billion in new spending in 2013 and a change that would give the White House new power to raise the federal debt limit.
With that event in mind, Hatch asked:
Why can't he sit down with members of Congress? Even Democrats are complaining that the president won't sit down with them.
“The fact is this president, basically, I don’t think, wants to work with Congress. And without that, without presidential leadership, without him really coming in and saying 'Look, let's get rid of the chaff, let's get down to business,'” the crisis won't be resolved.
Unfortunately, Obama's version of “leadership” led him on Tuesday to dismiss a budget proposal from top House Republicans that would raise $800 billion in new tax revenue over 10 years and cut Social Security, Medicare and other spending by $1.4 trillion.
The president said he rejected the GOP plan because the proposal was "still out of balance" and did not include higher tax rates on the wealthy.
But on Wednesday morning, Hatch turned his attention to House Speaker John Boehner, noting that the Ohio Republican “and I are friends. Let's get this done, and we can do it. I'll give some and you give some, and let's go from there.”
For his part, Boehner had a message of his own for Obama on Wednesday:
If the president doesn't like our offer, he has a responsibility to put forward a plan that can pass both chambers of Congress. We're ready to talk with the president immediately about a plan that can pass this chamber.
“We're ready any time he is," the GOP leader added, noting that Republicans can't “negotiate with ourselves."
Hatch's view that the “major media” will help Obama get away with anything is reflected in NBC Today's segment in which Chuck Todd stated that House Republicans would end up agreeing to Obama's budget, which would leave Boehner to “sell” the deal “to the far right.”
In addition, only ABC highlighted the president's flip-flop on a budget solutions that wouldn't hike tax rates, and New York Times staffer Paul Krugman used his appearance on “PBS News Hour” to claim that while the Democrats' proposal was serious, the GOP plan is “blackmail.”
And CNN's Soledad O'Brien allowed an Obama aide to attack the GOP and then herself pushed Republicans to hike taxes.
Despite the overwhelming media bias, conservatives are counting on the GOP officials in charge of the House to hold the line against the Democrats' extreme tax increases at least until the 2014 midterm election. Here's hoping that Hatch and his fellow Republicans can bring some sanity to the budget process.