Democrat credibility becomes an issue

The Hill:

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday attacked the credibility of Democrats on financial reform.

Boehner sought to advance a new GOP argument, that Democrats can't be trusted on financial reform because of their handling of other issues.

In a one-minute speech on the House floor, the top Republican said congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama lack credibility on financial reform because of what Boehner called failed promises about the economy, healthcare reform, and bringing down the deficit.

"We're seeing a growing credibility gap here in Washington," Boehner said. "Democrats are saying one thing and doing something else."

The minority leader's speech is the latest example of an emerging GOP messaging effort to go after Democrats' trustworthiness, especially as it relates to the financial reform bill. Playing up people's concerns about whether Democrats' claims on financial reform can be taken at face value was at the center of the strategy, a Senate Republican aide said last week.The messaging seeks to link Wall Street reform, an issue where Republicans have often played defense because of the unpopularity of big banks, with healthcare reform and the nation's high unemployment rate, issues on which Republicans have been on offense.

Where Democrats are really vulnerable on financial reform is their handling of Fannie and Freddie and the mortgage market in particular. If they had not blocked regulation in the last 10 years, the financial debacle with the banks is likely to have never happened because the underlying credit of the financial instruments would never have collapsed. They should be trying to get voters to hold Democrats accountable for their policy of pushing lenders to make bad loans to people who could not pay.


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