Obama ‘happy to work’ with GOP to strike budget deal, to a point

September 9, 2012

President Obama said in an interview that he is willing to work with Republicans to reach a  deal on the 2013 federal budget, but did not appear ready to budge from advocating for a ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases that has already been rejected by Republicans in Congress.


(Pablo Martinez -- Associated Press)

"I'm, you know, more than happy to work with the Republicans," Obama told CBS News's Scott Pelley in an interview set to air on Sunday. "And what I've said is in reducing our deficits, we can make sure that we cut two-and-a-half dollars for every dollar of increased revenue."

That proposal was turned down by Republicans in previous budget negotiations, Pelley reminded Obama.

"Well, and, you know, that's part of what this election's about," Obama responded, according to excerpts provided by CBS News. "Governor Romney said he wouldn't take a deal with $10 of spending cuts for $1 of revenue increases.  And the problem is the math, or the arithmetic, as President Clinton said, doesn't add up."

Obama also said he was "willing, by the way, to make some adjustments to Medicare and Medicaid that would strengthen the programs. But the way to do that is to keep health care costs low, it’s not to voucherize programs so that suddenly seniors are the ones who are finding their expenses much higher."

A portion of the interview will air Sunday morning on CBS's "Face the Nation." The full interview will air on CBS during news programs Monday morning and evening.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · September 8, 2012