CBS: In what he thought was a private chat with campaign donors Thursday evening, President Obama offered the most revealing behind-the-scenes account to date of his budget negotiations with GOP leaders last week.
CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller listened in to an audio feed of Mr. Obama’s conversation with donors after other reporters traveling with the president had left the room.
In the candid remarks, Mr. Obama complains of Republican attempts to attach measures to the budget bill which would have effectively killed parts of his hard-won health care reform program.
“I said, ‘You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. You’re not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we’re stupid?’” recalled the president of his closed-door negotiations on the bill to fund the federal government until September.
…Mr. Obama bemoaned GOP leaders’ attempts to attach a measure to the budget bill which would have cut funding for Planned Parenthood.
“Put it in a separate bill,” the president said he told Boehner and his staff. “We’ll call it up. And if you think you can overturn my veto, try it. But don’t try to sneak this through.”
…The president told his backers Thursday night that he expects Republicans to continue using that process to enact their political agenda under the guise of cutting spending. He specifically called into question the sincerity of Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan…
“When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure, he’s just being America’s accountant … This is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill – but wasn’t paid for,” Mr. Obama told his supporters. “So it’s not on the level.”
Full article here
Sneaky work by Mark Knoller …. but the President’s comments were sublime