Cole Blasts Hayes' Defense of Obama's 'Symbolic' Vote Against Debt Ceiling Increase

Cole: '[Obama] wants me to cast a vote he wouldn't cast. I am willing to do that'

September 26, 2013

Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.) engaged in a heated debate with Chris Hayes on Congress and the debt ceiling Thursday on All In.

Cole criticized Hayes' predictably apocalyptic lead in to the interview which featured soundbites and images alluding to a potential default and credit crisis.

Hayes challenged Cole, asking him what was unreasonable about his presentation of the debt negotiations.

Cole noted he had a litany of issues with Hayes' reporting, but suggesting that when Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was speaker she elected not to "hold the U.S. economy hostage" out of a sense of duty is a reach considering raising the debt ceiling and spending more money is in line with her liberal politics:

TOM COLE: Well, first of all, I have to say, that's the most remarkably misleading lead-in I've ever seen for minute after minute after minute. But --

CHRIS HAYES: Wait, what is misleading

COLE: Let me finish my answer. Oh, gosh, do you want me to count the ways?


COLE: Nancy Pelosi, of course she didn't want to hold the debt limit, she wanted to spend more money, not less. The reality is, the American people think we ought to be in a negotiating posture on these things. 61 percent, according to the Bloomberg recent poll thinks, if we're goingto raise the debt limit, which is something, by the way, I'm willing to do, and something Barack Obama never did when he was in the United States Senate. He's asking us to do for him what he would not do for George W. Bush.

The interview then transitioned into into whether President Obama's 2006 vote against raising the debt ceiling is equitable to the circumstances in today's Congress.

Hayes attempted to make the case Obama's vote against raising the debt ceiling was "symbolic," raising the ire of Cole.

Cole said he is willing to raise the debt ceiling, unlike the president during his tenure in the Senate, as long as measures are implemented to address long term debt:

CHRIS HAYES: It was a symbolic vote, as you well know.

COLE: It was not a symbolic vote -- there's no such -- No -- [crosstalk]

HAYES: Of course it was a symbolic vote. Was there ever any moment that you thought the debt ceiling would not go up?

COLE: He wants me to cast a vote he wouldn't cast. I'm willing to do that. I've done that before.

Full interview: