President Barack Obama shouldn’t take anything off the table when it comes to cutting money out of the federal budget, Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) told TPM ahead of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
“We have the opportunity for neither party to get blamed for these tough political votes which are going to be necessary to cut spending,” Ensign said. “This president has exactly what he needs to do what’s right for the country, so I hope he wakes up and does what he needs to.”
“It’s going to be tough political votes, no question. We have to work together,” Ensign said. “I don’t think you can take anything off the table. I’m one of those Republicans who thinks there’s a lot of waste in the defense budget.”
Obama was right not to touch gun rights in his speech in the wake of the tragedy in Tucson, Ensign told TPM.
“I’m glad he’s not touching it. I’m glad Democrats understand that even after Arizona that people in America really want to see the Second Amendment supported. There’s already so many gun control laws on the books around the country.”
Ensign questioned whether a ban on high-capacity magazines would be effective.
“Listen, anybody who knows about how to change a clip and how fast you can change a clip, is that really going to be effective? If a mad man wants to kill people, he’s going to kill people.”
Ensign also told TPM he’s glad that both the Federal Elections Commission and the Justice Department closed their investigations into his alleged improprieties centering on a $96,000 payment Ensign’s parents made to his mistress.
“We were thrilled when the FEC and Justice dropped theirs and we’re hoping Senate Ethics can wrap up very quickly,” he said.