From NBC's Catherine Chomiak
Visiting New Hampshire today, Mississippi Gov. and potential GOP presidential candidate Haley Barbour faced questions about Washington. His second trip to the Granite State this year included a stop by a Hooksett restaurant and gun shop as well as some questions about the budget.
While shaking local patrons’ hands, one man asked him about the budget deal that passed in the House today. The man, concerned that the continuing resolution didn’t deliver the types of cuts Republicans promised, called the numbers “dishonest,” referring to the $38.5 billion spending-cut deal the Congressional Budget Office now estimates only creates $350 million in savings for this year (but includes bigger cuts in future years).
“We’ve got three bites at the apple,” Barbour explained, “We’ve had the little bite at the apple. Next, we hit the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is our maximum point of leverage. And then we have the real budget. And so, I’m not harsh on the House guys.”
Barbour also weighed in on the GOP budget proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan. “The main thing Congressman Ryan did is he was direct with the American people, upfront with the American people. President Obama says currently entitlements are not sustainable, but he’s never proposed doing anything about it until, maybe he did yesterday,” Barbour said referencing Obama’s speech in Washington yesterday.
If Barbour were in Obama’s shoes right now his plan would be, “economic growth and spending cuts together get you a balanced budget.”
Barbour also addressed the birther issue, brought back to life by another potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. “I just accept at face value that the president’s born where he says he’s born,” Barbour said flatly.
While in the first-in-the-nation primary state Barbour dismissed the notion of running for vice president and joked, “Any Republican candidate for president who can’t carry Mississippi probably is not going to get very far.”