November 12th, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Obama says he's not caving on tax cuts

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) - President Barack Obama declared Friday that his "number one priority" is preserving tax cuts for the middle class, and sharply denied that comments by his senior adviser David Axelrod suggest that his administration is about to cave in to Republicans who also want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

"That is the wrong interpretation because I haven't had a conversation with Democratic and Republican leaders," Obama said of a Huffington Post article suggesting that in advance of negotiations with lawmakers next week, the White House has calculated that giving in on tax cuts for the rich is the only way to get the middle class cuts extended too.

"Here's the right interpretation - I want to make sure that taxes don't go up for middle class families starting on January 1st," Obama said at a news conference at the conclusion of the G-20 Summit here. "That is my number one priority for those families and for our economy. I also believe that it would be fiscally irresponsible for us to permanently extend the high income tax cuts. I think that would be a mistake, particularly when we've got our Republican friends saying that their number 1 priority is making sure that we are dealing with our debt and our deficit."

Obama would not tip his hand on the discussions coming when Congress returns to work for a lame-duck session next week.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Ed Henry • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. george yerg

    reguarding comments tonight about tax breaks. Giving money to the rich becasue they want to make more money and will invest in growth is true but there is 0 guarantee they will invest in US companies. If the largest return is in overseas investments, guess where the money will go. A break for the middle class has much better chance of being spent on US goods and services.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:37 pm |
  2. Kim Aarons

    The upper class or the rich do not make up the largest percentage of Americans. This is a fact!!!! Why not sacrifice the tax cuts of a few for the betterment of the whole? Traditionally in America the middle class has had the burden of keeping America's economy afloat. It is the labor of the middle class that keep the wealthy in the hands of America's wealthy. If there is no stimulus for the middle class to reinvest in to this economy; this economy with enormous certainty will fail!!!!!!!!

    November 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  3. Stan

    President Obama: If France and Germany and are looking at Identa Corp to help keep their people flying safer, maybe we should as well. They are testing a Kit that can Detect traces of explosives by the Nonograms, that's Great we should look into this for our safety when flying as well! Identa Corp can help us fly safer and reduce the fear of flying not just for the overseas Countrys but for the United States as well. The Lobbyist should really look into this product for the United States.

    November 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm |