Washington Post editor Bob Woodward pushed back on Fox News political analyst Karl Rove's attempt to blame the across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester on President Obama.
Woodward wrote in his 2012 book that the White House first proposed the sequester during negotiations that resulted from the Republican congressional leadership's decision to refuse to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts. Republicans and their allies in the conservative media have recently used Woodward's book in an attempt to blame Obama for the forthcoming cuts and the damage they will do to the economy if implemented.
But when Karl Rove tried to do so during a panel discussion on the February 17 Fox News Sunday, Woodward pushed back:
ROVE: Let's be honest about this. This was a bad idea foisted on us by the President of the United States, who has had 18 months to lead the country in a way that we could make smart cuts, not stupid cuts.
JUAN WILLIAMS (Fox News contributor): How can you call this the President's sequester when most of the Republicans --
ROVE: Because I read Bob Woodward's book!
WOODWARD: The White House -- and they really don't want to talk about the origins of the sequester now. But the Republicans definitely have a role in this.
Earlier in the segment, Woodward said that while the sequester was first proposed by the White House, "everyone has their fingerprints on this":
Indeed, 174 Republican members of the House of Representatives and 28 Republican senators -- a majority of Republicans in both chambers -- voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which included the sequester. After it passed, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said the law "will finally begin to change the way Washington spends taxpayer dollars." Speaker of the House John Boehner touted the law as "a positive step forward that begins to rein in federal spending." House Budget Committee Chairman and former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said:
The Budget Control Act represents a victory for those committed to controlling government spending and growing our economy. I applaud Speaker Boehner's leadership in stopping tax increases on job creators, rejecting President Obama's demands for a blank check to keep borrowing, and advancing real spending cuts and controls.