Podesta: Obama Pledged Before Election Never to Bargain on Debt Ceiling Again

According to John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress and former chief of staff to President Clinton, President Obama told him that he would never again bargain with Republicans to extend the debt limit. Podesta said that the 2011 Budget Control Act, which ended the debt ceiling debate two years ago, “sent a signal that this was fair game to blackmail over whether the country would default. He feels like he has to end it and end it forever.”

Obama has taken a no-negotiations stance on the debt ceiling debate, sending the true signal to the market that he is willing to default on debt if Republicans do not fund the government in accordance with his wishes. Podesta said that Obama will “be viewed as a guy who you can hold up” if he gives any concessions at all on the debt ceiling.

The stock market has rallied around the notion that the debt ceiling debate will come to a conclusion before the United States defaults. That’s largely because Republicans are signaling that they want to extend the debt ceiling. “Mr. President, let’s sit down and talk,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said. “Let’s reach consensus and end the ‘my way or the highway’ attitude once and for all.”

President Obama’s dramatic intransigence has paved the way for incredible public outrage against both him and Congress, with both hitting approval ratings lows. Nonetheless, Obama takes solace in the fact that Republicans are being blamed more than Democrats for the current impasse, thanks largely in part to media coverage.

Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).



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