At a press conference this afternoon with several Senators calling out Republicans for blocking middle-class tax cuts, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) escalated the Dem rhetoric by comparing the GOP’s my-way-or-the-highway posture to the demands of terrorists.
Responding to a reporter pressing Dems to explain why the haven’t put forth a compromise that can pass the Senate, Menendez said a quickly negotiated solution might not be in the best interest of the nation.
“Does the majority not only have the responsibility to try to [get something done, but] to get something done that makes sense for the country,” he said. “Do you allow yourself to be held hostage, and get something done for the sake of getting something done, when in fact it may be perverse in its ultimate result.”
Then he added: “It’s almost like a question of, Do you negotiate with terrorists?”
No doubt we’ll be treated to a flood of (understandably) angry GOP denunciations. The question is whether Menendez “clarifies” his remarks when that happens, or whether he sticks to his guns.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.