With no meetings scheduled for today, the president returns to a hallmark of his leadership style: letting lawmakers fight it out
"I always have hope," President Obama said today at his press conference on the debt ceiling. "Don't you remember my campaign?"
Obama was asked why he believes talks at the White House will result in a comprehensive deal that both averts a national debt default and improves the country's long-term deficit picture -- talks that have yet to produce any results.
The president's new strategy is to let congressional leaders work out a deal on their own, after presenting them with a window of what's acceptable to him.
"You need, over the next 24 to 36 hours, you need to give me some sense of what your plan is to get the debt ceiling raised," Obama said he has told leaders of both parties in Congress. "If they show my a serious plan, I'm ready to move, even if it requires some tough decision on my part."
About 45 minutes earlier, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned at a live press conference that "we are not going to reduce the deficit and give tax cuts to the wealthy on the backs of our Medicare and Social Security recipients." As he has before, Obama signaled willingness to reduce spending on those programs.