Added the president: "Look, I think that what we've seen in negotiations here in Washington is a lot of people say a lot of things to satisfy their base or to get on cable news, but that, hopefully, leaders at a certain point rise to the occasion and they do the right thing for the American people."
"And that's what I expect to happen this time," he continued. "Call me naive, but my expectation is that leaders are going to lead."
The president said every observer who isn't a politician has said the necessary savings cannot come without including an increase in revenue.
"And the revenue we're talking about isn't coming out of the pockets of middle-class families that are struggling, it's coming out of folks who are doing extraordinarily well and who are enjoying the lowest tax rates since before I was born," he said.
"If you're a -- if you are a wealthy CEO or a health -- hedge fund manager in America right now, your taxes are lower than they have ever been. They're lower than they've been since the 1950s," continued the president. "And you can afford it. You'll still be able to ride on your corporate jet; you're just going to pay a little more."