Sen. Warner: Little support in Washington "to do the right thing"
"There is no institutional support though, in Washington, for people who do the right thing," Warner said. "As a matter of fact, all of the interest groups are very much opposed because it's going to mean changes to the tax codes, changes to the entitlement programs, and we need to make it safer, particularly for some of the folks that have been there a long time, to step up and put country first."
On "Face the Nation," Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) blamed President Obama for failing to tackle spending and debt in his first three-and-a-half years in office.
"Well, we had a new president in 2008 that ran on hope and change and he had a real opportunity for two years with super Democratic majorities to do what Mark said - control federal spending, reform the tax code, and do something about entitlements," Graham said. "And here we are in this election, nothing's happened but more debt, more spending and out of control entitlement spending."
Furthermore, Graham said he thinks presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney should embrace reforms to the tax system.
"I hope Gov. Romney will embrace the concept of reducing deductions and exemptions and putting some of the money on the debt as well as lowering rates. That would be a breakthrough for our party," Graham said.
Graham offered very specific changes to entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid: "We need to tell younger workers that you need to work past 65 or we're going to lose our nation. We've got to adjust the age on Medicare and Social Security. We've got to means test benefits."
Senator Warner agreed there needs to be a plan, but he was less specific.
"It's going to have to reform our tax code and reform our entitlement programs, you can't cut and tax your way only. You've got to have a growing economy," Warner said.
Graham said Romney should back a bipartisan plan known as Simpson-Bowles, named after former Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Clinton, both of whom worked on the deficit reduction plan. Their plan would cut $4 trillion in spending through a combination of spending cuts and tax increase and make changes to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
"I think both candidates for president should be asked, would you take Simpson-Bowles as a roadmap to fiscal sanity and pledge to try to implement parts of it and bring it to the Congress for a vote? I would love to hear both of them say yes," Graham said.
- Leigh Ann Caldwell
Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.Follow on Twitter »
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