"This is not class warfare. It’s math," Obama said Monday while introducing a proposal calling for $1.5 trillion in new taxes.
But a day later, the president appeared to change his tune, seeming to embrace the "warrior" title at a fundraiser Tuesday.
"Now, you’re already hearing the Republicans in Congress dusting off the old talking points," Obama said. "You can write their press releases. 'Class warfare,' they say."
"You know what? If asking a billionaire to pay the same rate as a plumber or a teacher makes me a warrior for the middle class, I wear that charge as a badge of honor," he continued. "I wear it as a badge of honor, because the only class warfare I’ve seen is the battle that’s been waged against middle-class folks in this country for a decade now."
Watch his comments below, via Fox News:
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee, was the first to level the "class warfare" charge Sunday, a day after word spread of the proposed new tax rate, named after billionaire Warren Buffett.
"Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics," Ryan said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was similarly dismissive of the idea, inviting Buffett to "send in a check" if he's "feeling guilty" about his tax rate.