By Glenn Kessler and Michael Short
“‘The fact is that Democrats stand ready to meet the Republicans halfway on this. That would be fair.’
-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.),
March 3, 2011
“‘We are also prepared to put out specifics that will move another over $6 billion closer -- so that we will have met them halfway -- essentially split the difference between the president's request and [the GOP cuts in] H.R. 1.’
-- Gene B. Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council,
March 3, 2011
“’We have met them halfway, which in many ways is a perfect definition of an attempt to compromise.’
-- White House press secretary Jay Carney,
March 2, 2011
“This has become a constant refrain by Democrats -- that they have already gone some distance to accommodate the Republicans' efforts to cut federal spending. We already awarded Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) two Pinocchios for this claim, but the talking point keeps popping up again and again.
“… Democrats are being disingenuous by suggesting they have already worked hard to reduce spending or to reach out to Republicans …
“When Democrats say they are meeting Republicans halfway, they are talking about "cuts" from Obama's never-enacted 2011 budget ...
“Instead, the Democrats have offered just over $10 billion -- the $4 billion in the stop gap measure and the $6.5 billion announced late Thursday. Republicans have proposed $61 billion, so the gap between the two parties remains wide indeed.
“‘Halfway’ is an appealing concept, but thus far Democrats have done little to match the cost-cutting drive launched by Republicans.
“Repeating the same talking point over and over again does not make it correct. In fact, the rhetoric may come back to haunt Democrats, because in theory that would mean they eventually will have to come up with at least $30 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget.
“We'll award two Pinocchios again, but if Democrats keep saying this -- or President Obama says it -- it will start to move into three Pinocchio territory.”
Source: Republican National Committee