By MANU RAJU & JAKE SHERMAN
Speaking before television cameras at the supercommittee’s packed inaugural hearing in September, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said the panel “has the opportunity to show the American people we can still come together, put politics aside, and solve a problem plaguing our country.”
Now, both parties are quickly trying to figure out how to turn the committee’s embarrassing failure into a political win for their side.
The Democratic message: We stood up to Republicans looking to gut Social Security, slash Medicare and permanently extend the Bush-era tax cuts for high income Americans.
The Republican counterattack: Democrats wanted little more than tax increases and refused to consider changes to deficit-driving health care entitlements. Both sides are positioning themselves as the party that compromised and sought a middle-ground.
But will this political posturing work for a Congress that had a 9 percent approval rating in one recent poll? Or will it just back fire with voters? Many lawmakers are worried about what the supercommittee has wrought for both sides.