"We face big challenges both in the short term and in the long term," he said. "We're not going to solve that challenge by getting into the usual scare tactics and political nonsense that goes on. Let's have an adult conversation."
GOP flinching at budget spending cuts plan →
He said the U.S. is on the verge of "our own lost decade" like the one Japan suffered in the 1990s as that country struggled to lift itself out of the doldrums.
Back in Washington, Obama hits Republicans on small business bill →