More than 12 hours after President Obama and congressional leaders reached an agreement to raise the debt ceiling, GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney said he opposes the deal.
“As president, my plan would have produced a budget that was cut, capped and balanced – not one that opens the door to higher taxes and puts defense cuts on the table," he said in a statement. "President Obama’s leadership failure has pushed the economy to the brink at the eleventh hour and 59th minute. While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal.”
(Umm, Republicans tied raising the debt ceiling -- a routine move by past presidential administrations -- to spending cuts, not Obama.)
Romney joins Michele Bachmann in opposing the deal, while Jon Huntsman supports it.
***UPDATE*** New Gingrich has also weighed in on the plan, saying, "This agreement only sets the stage for an enormous amount of work going forward - well beyond the next two years ..."
*** UPDATE 2 *** And Rick Santorum weighed in with this tepid approval/disapproval, per NBC's Alex Moe: "I know some candidates are against this, say its terrible, it's a sellout. Let's be reasonable here: This is not the worst thing in the world that could happen," he said. "Having said that, what I have said from the beginning... What we should be focused on is balancing the budget and a Balanced Budget Amendment."
*** UPDATE 3 *** Here's a statement from Tim Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant: "This deal is nothing to celebrate. Only in Washington would the political class think it's a victory when the government narrowly avoids default, agrees to go further into debt, and does little to reform a spending system that cannot be sustained by our children and grandchildren. While no further evidence was needed, this entire debt ceiling fiasco demonstrates that President Obama must be replaced."