Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, December 19, 2012
During his press conference today to announce the interagency task force focused on new gun control and mental health laws, President Obama spent several minutes criticizing Congressional Republicans for not supporting his proposal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff on January 1st.
“I have gone at least halfway in meeting some of the Republicans’ concerns, recognizing that even though we campaigned on these issues, even though the majority of Americans agree with me that we should be raising taxes on the wealthiest few as a means of reducing the deficit.”
He then continued to attack Congress as a whole for dragging their feet on the issue because they’re not doing what he wants them to do.
“I’m going to continue to talk to the speaker and the other leaders up in Congress, but ultimately they’ve got to do their job…[The American people] understand that they’re not going to get 100 percent of what they want. And for some reason, that message has not yet taken up on Capitol Hill.
“There’s been a lot of posturing up on Capitol Hill instead of just going ahead and getting stuff done. We’ve been wasting a lot of time. It is the right thing to do. I’m prepared to get it done, but they’re going to have to go ahead and make — make some adjustments,” Obama continued.
Obama also took the time to make another plea for raising taxes on millionaires to reduce the nation’s debt, claiming that Republicans do not have an excuse for not raising the taxes.
“Let’s — let’s just think about the logic for a second. The — the thinking about voting for raising taxes, at least on folks over a million, which they say they don’t want to do, but they’re going to reject spending cuts that they say they do want to do. That defies logic. There’s no explanation for that.”
And, in classic Obama fashion, the president used the Newtown shooting tragedy as a rallying call to get a deal on the fiscal cliff accomplished.
“If there’s one thing that we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important.”
While the president’s original comments on the gun task force, which will be led by Vice President Biden, lasted about seven minutes, Obama spent more than eight minutes answering one question on the fiscal cliff.
The full text of President Obama’s press conference can be read here.
UPDATE (2:45pm): House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) held a 51-second “press conference” moments ago to respond to the president’s allegation. He made a brief statement before walking away without holding a Q&A session.
“I hope the president will get serious soon about providing & working with us on a balanced approach,” Boehner said.