Romney Opposes Debt Deal, Nelson Supports It; Dow Off 120 points

The stock market responded tepidly to the debt deal reached by congressional leaders Sunday night.

And Mitt Romney didn't think much of it either.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 120 points before noon Monday. The market took a beating last week, and observers hoped that an agreement to raise the nation's debt ceiling would turn the tables.

But objections from tea party conservatives and hard-line liberals raised concerns that approval is not assured.

Romney, a leading GOP contender who has extensive experience as an investment-fund manager, said Monday:

“While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama’s lack of leadership has placed Republican members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal."

Even as GOP leaders urged members of Congress to approve the agreement, Romney said it “opens the door” to higher taxes.

Another presidential hopeful, U.S. Ron Paul, R-Texas, called the debt debate little more than a shell game.

"The cuts being discussed are illusory and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in prospective spending increases," Paul said.

"This is akin to a family saving $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda."

Paul believes, however, that Congress will nevertheless vote to raise the debt ceiling over fears that global credit-rating agencies will punish America if it defaults on its debts.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said this morning that he would support the plan, which brings his career debt-ceiling record to seven votes in favor and four votes against.

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