Brown: Debt, Not Partisanship, Brought U.S. Credit Down

By Sarah Birnbaum

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Aug. 9, 2011

Sen. Scott Brown greets members of the audience following an event at the Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston on Monday1. Brown spoke on issues including the United State's debt as well as decision making in the nation's capitol. (AP)

BOSTON — Republican United States Senator Scott Brown is downplaying the role partisan fights played in weakening U.S. creditworthiness.

Speaking after a scheduled stop at Dorchester's Boys and Girls Club, Brown said he thought the credit rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded the United States' credit from AAA to AA+ because the country's debt is just too high.

“"Folks have tried to infer it’s a result of what happened over the past couple of weeks and obviously when you’re borrowing 40 cents on the dollar for the last couple of years, it’s obviously something everybody knew was going to happen," Brown said.
 
But many are blaming Washington gridlock — and the drawn-out, partisan fight to raise the debt ceiling — and it's not just pundits. S&P itself cited "difficulties in bridging the gulf between political parties" as a major reason for its action.    

Brown says that’s not what he heard. 
 
"That’s not true. I didn’t hear that. I heard they’ve always been commenting on the amount of debt and the fact that we’re borrowing 40 cents on the dollar. It wasn’t the deadlock. I haven’t heard that. I have to respectfully disagree," Brown said.

But other Massachusetts politicians are offering an array of explanations.  U.S. Senator John Kerry says it's the Tea Party's fault for failing to compromise during budget talks, while Republican presidential frontrunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is blaming what he calls President Barack Obama's lack of leadership.  

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