At the beginning of April, a Fox News poll asked respondents whether they believed that President Obama “wants the financial crisis to continue so government can take over more businesses and grow the federal government.” Only 23 percent said that they thought Obama wanted it to continue, but that minority view was recently endorsed by a top-ranking Republican official. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), the chairman of the NRCC, told the New York Times that he believes President Obama aims to “’diminish employment and diminish stock prices’ as part of a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy to consolidate power”:
His counterpart at the House Republicans’ committee, Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, may indeed face an uphill fight with his argument that Mr. Obama is not trying to create jobs. In an interview, Mr. Sessions cited rising unemployment in asserting that the administration intended to “diminish employment and diminish stock prices” as part of a “divide and conquer” strategy to consolidate power.
Mr. Sessions, in his seventh term, said Mr. Obama’s agenda was “intended to inflict damage and hardship on the free enterprise system, if not to kill it.” By next fall, he predicted, voters may regain appreciation for the era of Republican governance when “many dreams were achieved,” the size of the economy doubled and employment and financial markets hit record levels.
NRCC spokesperson Ken Spain stood by Sessions’ comment in an e-mail to the Plum Line’s Greg Sargent, claiming that he was “was simply reiterating what many members of the Democratic Party have echoed over the past several weeks, which is that one-party dominance in Washington has further damaged our economy and undercut our country’s free enterprise system.”