- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 26, 2010

Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett on Sunday defended President Obama against criticism he has comprised on principles and failed Democrats, saying he’s relying more on his compromise skills and intends to end the recently extended tax rates for all Americans.

“That is something he is willing to fight for,” Ms. Jarrett said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “He is going to fight very hard when those two-year extensions expire. … We’ll see that in the next year and the year after that.”

On the criticism that the president has been too willing to compromise with Republicans, she said he is “following what Americans called for” during the midterm elections, in which the GOP won in a landslide victory.

“The president is the same president” as the one on the 2008 campaign trail, Ms. Jarrett said. She also said Mr. Obama displayed such comprise skills as a U.S. senator.

She acknowledged, however, that the administration also has to “accept the reality that Republicans now control the House.”

Ms. Jarrett said the president also will focus in the immediate future on controlling the deficit and improving his relationship with U.S. businesses, including making the country more competitive in exports.

She also said Mr. Obama should not be concerned about Republican Sarah Palin or anybody else challenging him in a likely 2012 re-election bid.

“He shouldn’t be distracted by what are perceived as threats,” she said. “The most important thing he can do for the American people is to think of them.”

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