Tim Pawlenty at CPAC today doubled down with the Michele Bachmann wing of the Republican party by insisting that, "We should not -- we should not -- raise the debt ceiling."
Like Bachmann, he wants to hang the nation's deficit around Barack Obama's neck. And the line got a round of applause from the conservative crowd.
But his position puts him squarely at odds not just with Obama, but also with GOP House Speaker John Boehner, who calls such talk a recipe for financial disaster.[jump]
Here's Boehner talking recently to Fox News:
FOX NEWS: Do you agree with administration officials and other economists that defaulting on the full faith and credit of the United States would be a financial disaster?
BOEHNER: That would be a financial disaster not only for our country, but for the worldwide economy. Remember, the American people on Election Day said we want to cut spending and we want to create jobs. You can't create jobs if you default on the federal debt.
And here's neocon leader Bill Kristol dismissing Bachmann as "silly" for the same reason:
Having recently praised Michele Bachmann, and remaining a fan in general, I think it appropriate to register disappointment at her embrace of a silly position. On several conservative websites, you'll find a web ad featuring her and promoting a petition: "Tell Congress, 'Don't Raise the Debt Ceiling.'"
This is irresponsible. I've seen no plausible plan that would enable us to go "cold turkey" (to use her term) fast enough or dramatically enough that we could reduce the deficit to zero in a few months-which is what would be required if Congress were not to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling.
Never mind that. Here's Pawlenty today: