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Republicans Campaign On Failure Of Super Committee, Blame All On Democrats

Heath Shuler

Posted: 11/21/11 12:32 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Republicans have already begun campaigning on the Super Committee's impending failure by blaming Democrats in a blast email Monday morning.

"Without fail, Democrats have refused to get serious about restoring fiscal accountability in Washington as they show a blatant lack of interest in giving up their limitless credit card that has spiraled America's debt out of control," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay in an email aimed at Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).

Shuler was not a member of the 12-member Joint Committee On Deficit Reduction, but was a leader of a "Go Big" coalition that advised the Super Committee to aim for at least $4 trillion in deficit cuts, not just the minimum $1.2 trillion.

But Shuler, a conservative Democrat from a tough swing district, was among 50 members of Congress targeted in the email.

"The message that Democrats like Heath Shuler are sending to North Carolina families is that they would rather play political games with their tax dollars than promote policies that encourage a healthy economy and a strong job market," Lindsay charged.

Democrats in fact did not agree to GOP offers on the Super Committee, but neither did Republicans agree to Democratic suggestions, with the biggest stumbling point coming over how to deal with the Bush-era tax cuts.

The quick anti-Democrat hit vividly illustrates the fear each side feels that it could be blamed for failure. But a Democratic official thought the blast -- fired even before the Super Committee officially died -- betrayed greater concern on the GOP side.

"They sound a bit defensive," said the official, who declined to be named because she thought it was too soon to politick over the dying committee.

For evidence, Lindsay pointed to reporting that said at least some of the Democratic members were not very engaged in the committee, largely because from their perspective the Republicans did not come close to a real compromise.

Shuler's campaign could not be immediately reached for comment.

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