President Obama, fearing losing reelection more than default, threatens to veto any last-minute debt package from Congress unless it extends the nation's borrowing limit beyond the 2012 elections.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told ABC's "This Week" that Obama demands that any agreement to increase the debt ceiling extend beyond the 2012 elections.
Obama's chief of staff, Bill Daley, confirmed the veto threat. Daley was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if Obama would veto a plan that doesn't extend the limit into 2013. Daley answered, "Yes."
So a stubborn president Obama is willing to veto what by all accounts is the going to be the only viable option to meet his administration's August 2 deadline for avoiding default so he doesn't have to debate the issue during his reelection campaign.
Obama's veto threats don't sit well with Republicans.
Speaker John Boehner told Fox News Sunday that it is no longer "physically possible" to get everything done before the Treasury Department’s August 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling. Congress is now working on a two-stage debt-limit vote -- in order to raise the debt ceiling immediately while tackling deficit-reduction later.
Boehner also criticized Obama for insisting that a debt ceiling deal be timed to last beyond the next election season:
"The president’s worried about his next election, but my God, shouldn't we be worried about the country?" Boehner said. "I'm not worried about the next election. I told the president months ago: Forget about the next election!"
Boehner is right, President Obama should be more worried about the country than his reelection. Sadly, it appears Obama continues to put political expediency above all else.
We all recall the infamous "don't call my bluff" kerfuffle at the White House a couple of weeks ago, when Obama threw a temper tantrum and walked out of the debt ceiling negotiations. Witnesses said Obama shoved his chair back during negotiations and declared: 'Enough is enough. According to Eric Cantor, Obama went on to say: "Don't call my bluff. This may bring my presidency down but I will not yield on this."
Obama just might have been right about his presidency. After adding nearly $4 trillion to the national debt since he became president, Obama's insistence on more and more additional "tax revenue" prevented him from making a so-called grand bargain to increase the debt ceiling. And now he is willing to risk default with a veto because he wants to kick the problem down the road, past the presidential election. No wonder Obama's approvals are tanking.