White House: Obama does not want to ‘annihilate GOP’

Earlier this week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told a room of Republicans that the party needs to think strategically because President Obama's goal is to "annihilate" them.

It's not true, the White House says."I think he would object to" the obliteration of the opposition, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Thursday. "[H]e believes that the two-party system is part of the foundation of our democracy, and that it is a healthy aspect of our democracy even if it’s contentious."

The president believes that "we need to have spirited debates but not debates that paralyze us," Carney added. "We need to compromise, not be absolutists ... the need to act on behalf of the American people should compel us to make reasonable compromise while we stick to our principles."

Obama will take that approach in his second term, Carney said, rather than attempting to destroy the GOP.

Rachel Weiner covers cops and courts in Arlington and Alexandria.
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Ed O'Keefe | January 24, 2013