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Rahm Emanuel on Deficit: Obama Offered a Plan, Republicans Offered an Ideology


"He's offered a grand bargain, and they have refused a bargain."

Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said President Barack Obama won't get the blame if the congressional supercommittee fails to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget, because Obama already offered his own plan while Republicans offered "an ideology."

"He's offered a plan -- and what they've offered is an ideology," the Chicago mayor told Christiane Amanpour on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "He's offered a grand bargain, and they have refused a bargain."

Back in April, Obama proposed cutting $4 trillion from the deficit in a plan that called for $1.5 trillion in tax increases and ultimately went nowhere. If the 12-member bipartisan panel does not reach consensus by Tuesday, an automatic series of $1.2 trillion cuts will be triggered to take place over the next 10 years.

Emanuel said the GOP has "refused to budge on a single piece of their agenda" which is "not how you get to an agreement."

"The Senate leader for the Republican Party said my number one goal is to make President Obama a one-term president. Now, that’s very hard to bring bipartisanship when that’s the operating principle of the other side."

"His number one goal is to how we make ourselves competitive in the 21st century," he said. "Those are two different operating principles."

Coming off a Saturday speech to Democratic activists in Iowa, which included what Amanpour described as a "hilarious if scathing send-up of a lot of the Republican candidates," Emanuel also slammed the GOP presidential contenders vying for Obama's job. He declared that Mitt Romney -- who beat Obama 51 percent to 47 percent in a recent poll -- cares nothing for the middle class.

"As the campaign continues" Emanuel said, "More and more people will see who [Romney] is willing to stand for and who he turns a blind eye towards -- and that's the middle class."

Emanuel said the key to Obama winning again in 2012 is to "remind people of what was done three years ago," and what is still left to be done.

Watch the full interview below, via ABC:

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