Sen. Johnson Walks Back Claim That Default "Doesn't Have To Be A Crisis"

July 29, 2011 6:23 pm ET — Julia Krieger

Today on Fox News, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) showed that he can't walk the Tea Party walk. Johnson attempted to reassure host Neil Cavuto that Republicans won't sabotage the entire economy, and will indeed come to a sensible agreement in order to avoid U.S. default. "Really," he said, "there aren't too many people here in town that want to test that August 2 deadline, they really don't."  Watch:

Rewind to last month. Back then, Johnson had no trouble talking the talk as his party pushed the country to the brink of default. At the time, Johnson criticized the Obama administration for "trying to scare the American people" and "trying to scare the markets" by warning of the potential dire effects of a default crisis. According to Johnson, "The fact of the matter is, if we don't increase the debt ceiling, we'd have to live within our means." He added, "It doesn't have to be a crisis if we actually plan for it."

JOHNSON: The point I'm making with my debt ceiling budget is, the fact of the matter is, if we don't increase the debt ceiling, we'd have to live within our means. And according to President Obama's own budget, that would be $2.6 trillion, which is $800 billion more than the $1.8 trillion we spent just ten years ago under President Bill Clinton. It pays for all the interest on the debt, it pays for 100 percent of Social Security, and still leaves $1.6 trillion for all essential spending. And Neil, that's only $200 billion less than we spent just 10 years ago. So, it doesn't have to be a crisis if we actually plan for it. And that's what I think is so irresponsible of this administration; this president, you know, trying to scare the American people, trying to scare the markets.

Watch:

"We'll get something done," Johnson insisted today. "I'm optimistic."

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