President Obama Tells George Stephanopoulos That the U.S. Doesnt Have An Immediate Crisis in Terms of Debt

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 12: U.S. President Barack Obama sits with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei, at the end of a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on March 12, 2013 in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images

President Barack Obama during an interview with ABC News anchor and former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos released Wednesday said that the U.S. doesn’t have a debt crisis, continuing the Democrat mantra.

The president’s remarks were prompted by Stephanopoulos asking him about his ongoing negotiations with Republicans over entitlement reform. The president said that the GOP doesn’t know what the White House has in mind.

“But even the ones who’ve seen your plans say they need to see more,” said the ABC News anchor.

“Well– I understand. Which is why, at some point, I think I take myself out of this. Right now, what I’m trying to do is create an atmosphere where Democrats and Republicans can go ahead, get together, and try to get something done,” the president said, per an early transcript of the interview.

“And, you know — I think what’s important to recognize is that — we’ve already cut– $2.5– $2.7 trillion out of the deficit. If the sequester stays in, you’ve got over $3.5 trillion of deficit reduction already,” he added.

But this is where he gets into “what debt crisis?” waters [emphases added]:

And, so, we don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next ten years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place. The question is, can we do it smarter, can we do it better? And — you know, what I’m saying to them is I am prepared to do some tough stuff. Neither side’s gonna get 100 percent. That’s what the American people are looking for. That’s what’s going to be good for jobs. That’s what’s gonna be good for growth.

But ultimately, it may be that– the differences are just– too wide. It may be that ideologically, if their position is, “We can’t do any revenue,” or, “We can only do revenue if we gut Medicare or gut Social Security or gut Medicaid,” if that’s the position, then we’re probably not gonna be able to get a deal.

[…]

That won’t — that won’t create a crisis. It just means that we will have missed an opportunity. I think that opportunity is there and I’m gonna — make sure that they know that I’m prepared to — work with them. But ultimately, it may be better if some Democratic and Republican Senators work together. We can –

“So, you might poison the well if you put forward these ideas?” Stephanopoulos interjected.

“You know — I think whatever I’m for, it’s very hard for a Republican to also be for. I think they always have to be a little bit — you know, maintain some distance,” he said.

See what he did there? “It’s not my agenda they oppose, it’s me.” Really?

But maybe — just maybe! — some on the right oppose the president’s agenda because, contrary to what he says, it’s not personal: It’s just a bad agenda.

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(H/T: Right Scoop). Featured image Getty Images.