The revelation of Mark Knoller’s leak from this Obama fundraiser seems to be that the president is awake and knows how politics work right now. I’m not even sure if I hear a Kinsley gaffe in here.
I remember at one point in the negotiations, one of Boehner’s staff people pipes up and says, ‘You don’t understand, Mr. President. We’ve lost on health care. We’ve lost on the EPA. We’ve given that up. We’ve got to have something to give to our caucus.’
And I said to them, let me tell you something. I spent a year and a half getting health care passed. I had to take that issue across the country, and I paid significant political costs to get it done. The notion that I’m going to let you guys undo that in a six month spending bill? I said, you want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. But you’re not going to be able to do that by nickle-and-diming me on the budget. You think we’re stupid? And that’s going to — we’re going to see this again. We’ll see it on the debt limit vote. This will be the strategy going forward, trying to do things they can’t do legislatively under the cause of ‘cutting spending.’”
It would be deeply strange if Obama didn’t think this. A bit more interesting is the section on Paul Ryan. This is a closed door fundraiser, not a speech. In his deficit speech, Obama never attacked Ryan by name. Behind closed doors, he does, and derides him for voting for Bush era legislation that wasn’t paid for as Democrats claim the PPACA is.
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