After four years of being criticized for failing to work with Republicans, President Obama joked Friday that he’ll even do household chores for congressional GOP leaders to get a bipartisan deficit reduction deal if he’s elected to second term.
“I’ll wash John Boehner’s car, I’ll walk Mitch McConnell’s dog,” Mr. Obama said in an interview Friday with radio host Michael Smerconish, referring to the Speaker and Senate minority leader, respectively.
Policymakers in Washington are grappling with how to handle looming tax increases and spending cuts that are set to take place in January — the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Lawmakers and others have criticized Mr. Obama for failing to exert his influence and leadership to reach a deal that would avert another blow to the weak economy.
The president told Mr. Smerconish that working on a fiscal agreement will be his top priority in his second term.
“I think the most important thing is after the election — and I believe I’m going to win — is to once again bring the Republicans together with my administration and Democrats,” Mr. Obama said, adding that he will seek a “sensible combination” of spending cuts and tax increases. Part of his plan is to raise taxes on families earning more than $250,000 per year, a proposal that Republicans say would prevent job creation.
After the election, the president said he intends to tell Republican leaders that “we still have some big problems to solve, and the goal of making me a one-term president is behind us.”
“Then I think that will break the fever here in Washington,” Obama said.
While at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in Washington Friday, the president also set aside time to conduct interviews with television stations in six battleground states — Colorado, Florida Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.