Obama: Republicans Must Bend on Tax Hikes

President says eliminating breaks for ultra-wealthy isn't 'radical'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 29, 2011 11:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama entered the deficit/debt war of words today in a wide-ranging press conference and laid into the GOP with what the Washington Post calls his toughest language yet. He said congressional Republicans have to "take on their sacred cows" and agree to scrap tax breaks for the ultra-rich and oil companies. He also said lawmakers would have to start canceling their summer vacations if a deal isn't struck soon, but he sounded confident that a default would be avoided, notes the New York Times.

“It would be hard for Republicans to stand there and say that the tax break for corporate jets is sufficiently important that we’re not willing to come to the table and get a deal done,” he said. “What we’ve seen in negotiations here in Washington is a lot of people say a lot of things to satisfy their base or to get on cable news.” On two other issues of note:

  • Gay marriage: He praised New York's legalization but didn't say whether his own personal opposition to same-sex marriage had changed. “I think we are moving in a direction of greater equality, and I think that’s a good thing" is as far as he would go.
  • Libya: He reiterated that US action doesn't fall under the War Powers Act: “We have engaged in a limited operation to help a lot of people against one of the worst tyrants in the world. This suddenly becomes the cause célèbre for some folks in Congress? C’mon.”

President Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House Wednesday.   (Getty Images)
President Obama speaks during a press conference in the East Room of the White House.   (Getty Images)
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