President Barack Obama's disdain for those who would question his stance on an issue shone through Monday when Major Garrett of CBS News brought up the debt ceiling debate.
Obama had said Congress needed to raise the federal debt ceiling and that he wasn't open to Republicans' call to balance that increase with spending cuts in other areas. Garrett noted that Obama had voted against a debt ceiling increase while in the Senate, and that he previously had agreed to deficit-reduction deals that were related to raising the debt ceiling.
Why, Garrett asked, the new “adamant desire on your part not to negotiate when that seems to conflict with the entire history in the modern era of American presidents in the debt ceiling and your own history on the debt ceiling?”
The difference now, Obama sniffed, is that Republicans in Congress are willing to hold up movement on the debt ceiling unless they get a dollar-for-dollar match in spending cuts.
“This is the United States of America, Major,” he said. “We can't manage our affairs in such a way that we pay our bills, and we provide some certainty in terms of how we pay our bills? I don't think anybody would consider my position unreasonable here.”
And those who do? Well ...
“If we want to have a conversation about how to reduce our deficit, let's have that,” Obama said. “We've been having that for the last two years. We just had an entire campaign about it. And by the way, the American people agreed with me, that we should reduce our deficits in a balanced way, that also takes into account the need for us to grow this economy, and put people back to work.”
In other words: I won, and if you don't like it, tough.