Take our poll: Do Republicans have all the leverage in upcoming ‘debt ceiling showdown’ with Obama?

Former Indiana Congressman and Washington-based Club for Growth President Chris Chocola is convinced Republicans have all the leverage in the next round of economic “talks” with President Obama. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV,  Chocola said, “if they’re willing to use it,” the GOP has plenty of power (see highlights below).

Some pundits disagree. In his recent post, Obama thumbs nose at Congressional authority to raise debt ceiling,  BizPac Review writer Michael Dorstewitz said “from this point forward, he (Obama) plans to raise the debt ceiling at will and under his own authority.”  Dorstewitz referred to the defiant comment that the president made just after the dramatic “fiscal cliff” vote in Congress this week.

“One last point I want to make,” said the president. “I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills, they have already racked up through the laws they have passed.”

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“At some point we have to be serious about this,” Chocola tells Newsmax. “At some point, Republicans have to do what Republicans say they have to do — and they have to stand up for limited government, spending restraint, and fiscal responsibility. “This is an opportunity they have. They have all of the leverage in the world on their side if they’re willing to use it,” he added. “They have a simple message — and they have public opinion that’s sympathetic. This will be a real test to whether Republicans can do something constructive and put this country back on the path of fiscal solvency.”

“There’s a real lack of political will from both parties. I always say that I have a morbid respect for Nancy Pelosi and the healthcare bill. She knew that it put her majority at risk. But it’s something that she believed in for 40 years. She found a way to get it through the House — and it’s a law today, even though she lost her majority in the process.

“Republicans have to find a way to take the risk of leadership, stand up for the things they believe in, and be willing to suffer the consequences,” Chocola said. “I don’t think they will. The American people would be on their side if they could finally find a way to deliver a clear, consistent, and convincing fiscal conservative message. The majority of Americans are still on their side on fiscal issues, if they can find a way to talk to them in an appealing way.

“This is an opportunity that they need to take. They haven’t taken any recently that have resulted in good policy. But this is one more chance and it’s the best chance they’re going to have, and we’ll see if they’re up to the task.”

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