Asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd why he wasn’t pursuing a backup plan in case there’s no debt-limit agreement, he replied: “We are not a deadbeat nation. And so there’s a very simple solution to this: Congress authorizes us to pay our bills.”
CBS’ Major Garrett, reminding Obama that as a senator he voted against a debt-limit increase, asked if he would accept a short-term increase. “We just had an entire campaign about it,” the president replied. “And by the way, the American people agreed with me.”
Obama’s antipathy toward his Republican opponents took a more personal tone when Calmes, the final questioner, asked about his reluctance to socialize.
“When I’m over here at the congressional picnic, and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, I promise you, Michelle and I are very nice to them,” Obama said. “But it doesn’t prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and, you know, blasting me for being a big-spending socialist.” Playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner “didn’t get a deal done,” he pointed out.
Given the tendency by conservative media “to demonize me,” Obama said, socializing with the president might lead to “a challenge from somebody in a primary.” The only way to change lawmakers’ behavior, he said, is for voters to “reject” the partisans who don’t compromise. “And that will be true whether I’m the life of the party or a stick in the mud,” he said.
From the affable president, this must pass for friendly advice.