Fretting About GOP's "First Impression," Rep. Pence Recommits To $100B Cuts Goal

February 10, 2011 6:21 pm ET — Alan Pyke

With Republican leaders in the House reeling from a month of self-inflicted wounds, the GOP deployed perhaps its greatest damage control artist this morning on Fox News: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). When host Bill Hemmer pointed out that proposed spending cuts are barely a third of what was pledged to America, Pence's response was to double down on the $100 billion promise that his leadership tried to walk back in January.

PENCE: Well we're gonna work it out, and we're gonna keep our word to the American people. Y'know, in the Pledge to America Republicans said that we would save taxpayers at least $100 billion in the first year, and what's going on right now on Capitol Hill are negotiations among Republicans to keep our word. And I believe that we will. House appropriators did some yeoman's work this week, they came up with discretionary and security savings of a little bit over $70 billion. House conservatives believe we can do better, we believe we can hit that $100 billion mark. And I think we should. Y'know, you never get a second chance at a first impression, Bill. [...] We're all united, I wanna make that clear. House Republicans from the leadership to the newest member are all united in the principle that we have to make the hard choices to put our fiscal house in order.

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In addition to the fact that Pence's "$70 billion" is actually $32 billion, the past month belies Pence's claim that Republicans are "all united."

Republicans are flailing to demonstrate a commitment to economic issues. Speaker Boehner is modifying tweets. Majority Leader Cantor is making stuff up. And their legislative calendar is full of overreaching social policy and payback for their corporate sponsors, with nary a jobs bill in sight.

This Republican majority already made its first impression.

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