According to a snide John Harwood, Republicans lack the “maturity” to govern, handle taxes and raise the debt ceiling. The CNBC editor appeared on MSNBC, Friday, to complain about Trump and the GOP: “This is the kind of thing that ought to be easy but what we've seen in the last few years is that the Republican Party has not shown the maturity to govern effectively in a consistent way.”
On the subject of Hurricane Harvey funding, Harwood mocked, “That is a baseline expectation. But this is a party that has shown that it can sometimes not do the most basic things in governing.”
On the subject of a potential government shutdown, he lectured, “What you have within the Republican Party is a group of members who have a history of making demands that are not commensurate with either the power they hold or what public opinion will sustain.”
Harwood is hardly an objective observer. During the presidential campaign he famously offered this question to Trump:
“Mr. Trump, you’ve done very well in this campaign so far by promising to build a wall and make another country pay for it; send 11 million people out of the country; cut taxes $10 trillion without increasing the deficit; and make Americans better off because your greatness would replace the stupidity and incompetence of others. Let’s be honest. Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?”
— CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent John Harwood question to Donald Trump at the CNBC Republican debate, October 28, 2015.
A partial transcript is below:
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STEPHANIE RUHLE: CNBC’s editor-at-large John Harwood joins us now. John, is Harvey going to unite lawmakers? I mean, we're looking at the potential showdown next week. But, God, look at the tragedy that is Houston, you'd like to think the government could get together here.
JOHN HARWOOD (CNBC editor): You would. And, Stephanie, this is the kind of thing that ought to be easy but what we've seen in the last few years is that the Republican Party has not shown the maturity to govern effectively in a consistent way. We've seen that from what they did on the debt limit in the past after taking over the House, the difficulties in keeping the government open and yes, they should do this. I had an interview yesterday with Al Franken, the Democratic senator from Minnesota. He said, “We're going to get the Harvey relief done.” So that is a baseline expectation. But this is a party that has shown that it can sometimes not do the most basic things in governing.
HARWOOD: The wall is not going to get funded in a substantial way. It wasn't even before this happened but now it's definitely not because so much money is going to have to go to Harvey relief. There is the potential for a shutdown. There is a potential, I know you said you think they are going to raise the debt limit, That certainly ought to be something they do but it's not clear they can do that. What you have within the Republican Party is a group of members who have a history of making demands that are not commensurate with either the power they hold or what public opinion will sustain.
HARWOOD: You know, tax reform — It's possible a well designed tax reform could assist economic growth. And every American should hope they could come up with that. What we've seen, however, is that the reform part of tax reform is getting tossed overboard because that involves doing something difficult, which is causing some people to pay more in order to bring the rates down. They have not shown an ability. That's part of what I said about the maturity that you need as a governing party. You've got to address tradeoffs in legislation to try to achieve the greater good. And they haven't shown the ability to do that.