President Obama called the forced cuts arbitrary and dumb, repeatedly framing this as a situation where if the economy turns sour, it’s not his fault.
Blame game; a strategy the president insisted just three days ago in Newport news, Virginia that he would not engage in, except the president waited until Friday, the day the cuts starting falling into place, to try and solve the problem with republican leaders in a meeting both sides knew would lead to nowhere.
Then the president came out and in a 35 minute news conference, blamed republicans and when pressed, said over and over he did not bear any responsibility.
The president never mentioned and was not questioned about the fact his aides dreamed up the sequester.
In an exclusive interview with “Fox News Sunday”, Republican Mitt Romney charged Mr. Obama has never stopped campaigning.
Republicans are digging in, and believe they’re gaining steam because unlike the fiscal cliff fight, so far they’re not saving on taxes.
And on spending, Boehner and the president both said they want to avoid a total government shutdown at the end of March.
Which means they plan to extend government funding at its current levels that were lowered by the budget control act of 2011, while the sequester cuts keep spending even lower.
In private, some of the president’s aides say they’re worried that if people do not feel pain from the sequester in the short term, these lower spending levels will be the new normal, cutting off funds for his second term priorities, which is why Mr. Obama was careful to re-calibrate expectations about how bad it will be.