Updated 12:43 p.m. Eastern Time
President Obama said Wednesday that the Republican position that they will not accept any tax increases as part of a deal to increase the debt limit is not "sustainable," adding, "everybody else has been willing to move off their maximalist position; they need to do the same."
Mr. Obama said Democrats have already taken on their "sacred cows" in the negotiations, including accepting spending cuts that hurt their constituencies and an openness to "look at" entitlement programs. Yet Republicans, he said, have refused to break from their opposition to tax increases for "corporate jet owners" and oil companies.
"If everybody else is willing to take on their sacred cows and do tough things in order to achieve the goal of real deficit reduction, then I think it would be hard for the Republicans to stand there and say that, 'The tax break for corporate jets is sufficiently important that we're not willing to come to the table and get a deal done,' or, 'We're so concerned about protecting oil and gas subsidies for oil companies that are making money hand over fist, that's the reason we're not going to come to a deal,'" he said. "I don't think that's a sustainable position."
Mr. Obama predicted "we will reach a deal" to raise the debt limit, adding that his "expectation is that they'll do the responsible thing."