At a meeting with the Business Roundtable on Wednesday morning, President Obama publicly warned Republicans that he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling. But after those opening remarks, reporters were ushered out of the room so Obama could talk to the gathered CEOs in private. 

""Yeah, I  think the press is ... they've probably got enough there to spin a story," Obama said as the reporters were kicked out of the room. 

The Roundtable is a business lobbying group made up of high-powered executives whom the president is hoping to rally to his side in the "fiscal cliff" fight. In his public remarks, he emphasized the potential economic consequences of another debt ceiling standoff. He also insisted that tax rates on the wealthy need to be raised.

“We’re not insisting on rates just out of spite or any partisan bickering, but rather because we need to raise a certain amount of revenue,” the president said. “If we can get the leadership on the Republican side to take that framework, to acknowledge that reality, then the numbers actually aren't that far apart.”