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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:25 PM

Obama Talks Tough on Budget, Guns

by Howard Kurtz Jan 14, 2013 12:36 PM EST

The president warned Republicans not to balk at raising the debt ceiling and challenged the NRA on gun control. Howard Kurtz on the timing of his news conference.

President Obama, declaring that “we are not a deadbeat nation,” issued a stern warning to Republicans on Monday that they should not “act irresponsibly and put America through another economic crisis.”

Obama used the last news conference of his first term to ratchet up pressure on the GOP to raise the debt ceiling next month, despite the party’s threats to balk at such an increase unless the White House and Democrats agree to substantial spending cuts.

To do otherwise, Obama said, “would be a self-inflicted wound on the economy” and raise the specter of Social Security checks being delayed and American troops not getting paid.

The timing of the presser was curious, in that the budget confrontation is more than a month away and Obama delivers his second inaugural speech next Monday. But having said he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling, he seemed determined to lay down a marker that the borrowing limit is “not a bargaining chip” and the failure to raise it would be “disastrous” and could cause financial markets to go “haywire.”



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