On Thursday afternoon, Wolf Blitzer grilled White House Press Sec. Jay Carney over President Barack Obama’s insistence that he will refuse to negotiate with Republicans over the next increase in the nation’s debt ceiling. Blitzer asked Carney to explain why the circumstances were different when Obama was a senator and voted against an increase in the debt ceiling under President George W. Bush.
Blitzer began by noting that Obama will be “the first president in a long time who won’t negotiate with the opposition to try to raise the debt ceiling.”
“Why is the president so firm right now in saying he doesn’t even want to talk to the speaker or any of the Republicans to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling?” Blitzer asked.
Carney said that what happened in 2011, with Republicans demanding spending cuts as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, was “unprecedented.”
“The mere flirtation with it in 2011, the threat of it, caused this country economic harm — caused harm to the American middle class,” Carney said.
“Very quickly, remind us why the president as a senator voted against raising the debt ceiling,” Blitzer said.
“The president voted against raising the debt ceiling as a senator to make a point about what he believed were wrong fiscal priorities of that administration,” Carney replied. “What then Senator Obama never did was say, ‘I will vote to default if I don’t get what I want.’”
Watch the clip below via CNN:
[Photo via screen grab ]
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