Paul said his consistent voting against a debt ceiling hike is something that that two of his rivals -- House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum – did not achieve during their years in Congress.
Paul’s campaign notes that Gingrich, as a member of the House, voted to raise the debt ceiling in 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, twice in 1989 and twice in 1990.
Santorum, as a member of the Senate, voted to raise the debt ceiling in 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.
(Romney never had a chance to vote on the national debt ceiling, but the Paul campaign criticized him for the health care plan he signed into law as Massachusetts governor in 2006.)
The Republican-controlled House voted 239-176 Wednesday to block President Barack Obama’s request to increase the debt limit by $1.2 trillion. The vote was symbolic, since it’s clear that the Senate will not go along.
Under debt deal struck last year, the debt ceiling automatically is raised 15 days after the president officially notifies Congress the government is close to its limit, unless Congress votes to stop the increase.
Though some criticize Washington for too much partisanship, in a floor speech Wednesday Paul said Congress is guilty of too much cooperation:
Paul said Congress routinely over-spends: “It would be nice if we could just blame everything on the current administration or even the previous administration,” Paul said. “But the crisis that we are in has been building for a long period of time and it’s very bipartisan.
“There’s been way too much cooperation in this Congress. Those who like spending cooperate and keep spending. For a long time we were able to get away with this because we were a very wealthy country. Now we’re non-productive, the good jobs are overseas and yet the spending is escalating exponentially.”
He added, “You can’t solve the problem of debt by accumulating more debt.”
Paul is taking the lead among his competitors in fighting for the interests of present and future taxpayers, Paul’s national campaign chairman Jesse Benton said in a statement.
“Voters want to know exactly where Ron Paul’s rivals stand on the issue, not only of directly increasing the debt through voting. They want to know if their records illustrate longstanding contributions to an atmosphere that encourages borrowing in the first place. One need only look to the records of Dr. Paul’s competitors Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney for an answer to this question,” Benton said.