Carney: 'Preposterous' to Say Obama Walked out of Deficit Talks
White House press secretary Jay Carney derided as “preposterous” accounts by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., that President Obama stormed out of Wednesday’s deficit-reduction negotiations.
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“The president, as the meeting was wrapping up, expressed his feelings that the folks in that room need to lead,” Carney said. Cantor told reporters that the session ended with the president warning the majority leader not to “call my bluff” before pushing back his chair and saying, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Talks ended at 5:43 on Thursday, and the president has set an informal deadline of Friday for participants to determine if a deal is possible. While Carney still insists the U.S. will not default, he said, “I do not expect today a hallelujah moment” to come out of the talks.
In an interview set to air on WSBTV in Atlanta, Obama also disputed the notion he prematurely ended the meeting.
"No. At the end of the meeting, what I said to the group was what the American people feel. 'We have a responsibility to do the right thing. We shouldn't be partisan, we should solve problems,' " Obama said.
"There's no doubt America is stressed out. We just went through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. That's why it's so important for us to get this thing settled now," Obama told WSBTV reporter Scott MacFarlane.
Obama disputed the notion that he was abrupt with Cantor in an interview with Philadephia's CBS Channel 3.
“I am willing to work with everybody, including Eric Cantor, to solve problems. My relationship with all the leaders has been cordial, it has been professional, but I think at a certain point the American people run out of patience if they think that people are playing games and not serious in terms of solving problems," Obama said.