Obama: Hard for GOP to say yes

December 30, 2012

“One way or another, we’ll get through this,” Obama said in an interview on NBC News’s “Meet The Press” set to broadcast Sunday morning. “Do I wish that things were more orderly in Washington and rational and people listened to the best arguments and compromised and operated in a more thoughtful and organized fashion?  Absolutely.  But when you look at history that’s been the exception rather than the norm.”

Republicans, he said, "have had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers."

Obama repeated his call from Friday for Senate leaders to reach an agreement on a deal to prevent middle-class tax rates from rising. Failing that, he said, Senate Democrats will introduce their own bill, and Republicans will have to decide if they want to block it. 

“If Republicans do in fact decide to block it, so that taxes on middle class families do in fact go up on January 1st, then we’ll come back with a new Congress on January 4th and the first bill that will be introduced on the floor will be to cut taxes on middle class families,” Obama said. “And I don’t think the average person’s going to say, ‘Gosh, you know, that’s a really partisan agenda on the part of either the president or Democrats in Congress.’ I think people will say, ‘That makes sense, because that’s what the economy needs right now.’”

He rejected the idea that he had not done enough to accommodate Republicans' concerns. "I negotiated with [House] Speaker [John] Boehner in good faith and moved more than halfway," he said. "The offers that I've made to them have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me." 

More from Obama's interview on The Fix

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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