In a Wednesday afternoon press conference, President Obama drew a clear line ahead of negotiations with Congressional leaders over the “fiscal cliff.”
FOX News Radio White House Correspondent Mike Majchrowitz reports from the West Wing:
The President offered an olive branch to Republicans over the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
(President Obama) “I am not going to just slam the door in their face. I want to hear ideas from everybody.”
But then the President closed one door, rejecting Republican suggestions that instead of raising tax rates on wealthier Americans, they reform the tax code in a way that brings in more revenue by closing loopholes.
(President Obama) “What I am not going to do is to extend Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% that we can’t afford.”
The President says he has a majority of the public behind him on this.
At the White House, Mike Majchrowitz, FOX News Radio.
Another topic the President was questioned on was the possibility of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, replacing Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State – a move that Republicans on Capitol Hill are already vowing to block.
FOX News Radio’s Jared Halpern has more on that from Capitol Hill:
Should the President tap the U.N. Ambassador to succeed Secretary of State Clinton, expect tense confirmation hearings.
(Sen. McCain) “We will do whatever’s necessary to block the nomination.”
That warning from Republican Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham adding:
(Sen. Graham) “I don’t trust her. And the reason I don’t trust her is because I think she knew better, and if she didn’t know better, she shouldn’t be the voice of America.”
That a complaint to Rice initially blaming the deadly attack in Benghazi on an anti-Islamic film. President Obama is pushing back, telling Republicans to go after him, not Rice.
At the U.S. Capitol, Jared Halpern, FOX News Radio.
WATCH more on President Obama’s response on Amb. Rice: