ABC News Political Director Amy Walter has this analysis on the President’s deficit reduction speech:
This speech wasn’t so much about coming up with a bi-partisan plan to tackle the deficit as it was about setting up the battle lines for a 2012 campaign.
While politicians on both sides of the aisle have stressed the need to “put it all on the table”, the President made clear that he was leaving a lot on the floor.
“To meet our fiscal challenge, we will need to make reforms. We will all need to make sacrifices. But we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m President, we won’t."
He specifically mentioned the GOP’s plan, which would completely alter Medicare and cut more than $5 trillion in spending over the next ten years. Today President Obama said some Republican Presidential candidates had endorsed the plan, even though most have only praised its bold vision.
President Obama also drew campaign-friendly lines in the sand. pledged that Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, which he already extended once as President, late last year when he said the economy was still fragile, will not be extended again.
“I refuse to renew them again,” he said today.
President Obama said he didn’t have to look at a poll to know that nobody wants their own taxes raised. But most Americans – more than 50 percent – think allowing those tax cuts to expire would be just fine.