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“No matter what we raise it to, they are going to spend the entire thing, and the only way you are going to stop them from spending is if you take away the credit card,” he said.

Ron Bonjean, a political strategist, countered that a measured response to the ongoing talks is a good idea when dealing with such a high-stakes issues.

“It’s important to lay out principles and what you stand for, but not to get caught up in the quicksand of specifics. It’s a good long-term strategy to have,” he said.

That’s the approach of Mr. Romney, who said during a campaign swing through New Hampshire on Thursday that a debt-limit increase should be tied to spending cuts, a federal spending cap and a balanced-budget amendment.

Pressed for more details on the possible cuts or a cap, Andrea Saul, Mr. Romney’s spokeswoman, said, “Mitt is not going to weigh in on the ongoing changes of the negotiations, but his stance is clear.”

Mrs. Saul said her boss will take a position on a deal if one is reached.