WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Speakers at the Reuters Washington Summit on Wednesday touched on issues ranging from deficit reduction and climate change to the November 2 elections, Afghanistan and replacing White House economic adviser Larry Summers.
Here are some highlights of their quotes:
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, CHAIRMAN OF THE WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS
“Tightening the belt in the middle of the deepest recession since 1929 is not a good idea. You run the risk of the 1937 problem, so we’ve got to be careful about that.”
“We need to make sure that the private sector has stood up before we start pulling the plug on everything else.”
GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS, U.S. AND NATO COMMANDER IN AFGHANISTAN
On the gradual drawdown of troops: “In other words, we do a little bit less, the Afghans do a little bit more.”
“Even as you’re able to thin out combat forces ... you still want to leave the battalion headquarters, in some cases the brigade headquarters.”
On replacement for White House economic adviser Larry Summers: ”We’d like to see someone who had good understanding what it takes to create private sector jobs in America.
“One of the real problems with this administration - it seems like they don’t know how. And they don’t have very many people who’ve ever tried.”
On likening the Tea Party movement to the Ross Perot movement 20 years ago. “In this case all of the energy in the Tea Party, or most of it, is in the Republican party.”
“We’re going to have a good day,” on election day.
“I like Larry Summers, I like him as a person, I respect his abilities, he was always a straight shooter.”
“But he and this administration had a philosophical approach which I think is totally wrong for this nation, which is to turn us into a European social welfare state.”
On the budget deficit commission: “I think everybody understands that the majority of the issue is on the spending side...”
If Republicans gain control of a chamber of Congress: “We won’t be able to set the agenda in the sense that the president sets the agenda, but we will at least be able to control the expansiveness of the government...”
DEMOCRAT JEFF BINGAMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE ENERGY COMMITTEE
If Republicans gain control of the House of Representatives: “I’d be surprised if that kind of a comprehensive climate and energy bill could pass both houses of Congress in the next Congress, since they’ve been unable to pass in this Congress.”
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
“It’s going to be tough, but at the end of the day the Democrats will control the majority in the House. I am very confident of that.”
“The more we hear from our Republican colleagues, the more it’s clear that that’s their plan - it’s sort of the Bush economic agenda on steroids.”
Compiled by Tim Dobbyn