John Boehner Calls Tax Rate Increase 'Unacceptable'

The Speaker of the House discusses where Republicans stand on looming tax increases.
3:00 | 11/09/12

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Transcript for John Boehner Calls Tax Rate Increase 'Unacceptable'
Everyone's taxes go up on new year's day if no deal is reached. And diane sawyer got an exclusive look at where republicans stand from house speaker john boehner yesterday. Jon karl has more of that from washington. Good morning, jon. Reporter: Good morning, george. The speaker of the house told diane he is confident he can strike a deal with the president. But he also took a hard line on the central issue dividing them, tax increases. I've made it clear to the president, and I think I said, laid out yesterday, that raising taxes on small business people is the wrong prescription, given where our economy is. Reporter: But raising taxes on the wealthy was a central issue of president obama's campaign. He talked about it in every, single campaign speech. The wealthiest americans got tax cuts. Tax cuts. Try a tax cut. Another trillion dollar tax cut that favors the wealthy. Reporter: In her exclusive interview thursday, diane sawyer pressed the speaker on that. 60% of the voters have said that they are ready to raise these taxes. They are ready to have the wealthier americans pitch in here. I said yesterday that raising tes is unacceptable. Reporter: The looming fiscal crisis has already affected financial markets, helping drive the dow below 13,000 for the first time since september. If a deal is not struck, virtually every american taxpayer will see a substantial increase in their taxes starting JANUARY 1st. During the last negotiations, speaker boehner's hands were tied because tea party conservatives opposed compromise. Here's what he told george back then. There's no daylight between the tea party and me. Reporter: What does he think of the tea party now? We don't have a tea party caucus to speak of in the house. Reporter: As he called increased tax rates unacceptable, the speaker told diane he was open to increasing tax rev by closing loopholes. I'm the most reasonable, responsible here in washington. The president knows this. He knows that he and I can work together. The election's over. Now, it's time to get to work. Reporter: In the interview, the speaker also said that he would no longer push for a full repeal of obama care. Now, he later corrected that a few hours later, saying that full repeal is still his ultimate goal. But clearly, george, the president and the speaker have some battles ahead.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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