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Obama blames Republicans for fiscal cliff mess

US President Barack Obama put the blame squarely on Republicans for the failure so far to agree a deal to avert the fiscal cliff crisis, saying they can't bear to raise taxes on the rich.

Obama told NBC's Meet the Press in an interview broadcast Sunday it had been "very hard" for Republicans to accept that "taxes on the wealthiest Americans should go up a little bit, as part of an overall deficit reduction package."

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