Obama on Debt Ceiling: 'We're Not Going to Play That Game'

President tries to convince Business Roundtable of the need to raise rates

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 5, 2012 12:24 PM CST

(Newser) – President Obama is talking a little trash ahead of the fiscal cliff deadline: In remarks before the Business Roundtable today, the president insisted that he would not allow Republicans to use the debt ceiling for leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations. "We're not going to play that game next year," Obama said, according to the Washington Post and Politico. "The only thing the debt ceiling is good as a weapon for is destroying your credit rating … I will not play that game."

The president was trying to win the business lobby's support for his plan to raise tax rates on the wealthy. "We're not insisting on [raising] rates just out of spite … but rather because we need to raise a certain amount of revenue." And he took direct aim at the GOP: "If we can get the leadership on the Republican side to take that framework, acknowledge that reality, then the numbers really aren’t that far apart," he said. "We can probably solve this in about a week."

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff at the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, in Washington, Dec. 5, 2012.
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the fiscal cliff at the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers, in Washington, Dec. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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