President Obama has threatened House Speaker John Boehner that if no deal is struck on the “fiscal cliff,” he will use his Inaugural address and State of the Union speech next month to blame Republicans, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In the Journal’s behind the scenes account of how fiscal cliff talks between Obama and Boehner hit a wall, what comes across is that the president is emboldened by his reelection and eager to extract more concessions from Boehner than he was willing to accept during last summer’s debt limit talks.
This excerpt from the piece is revealing:
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”
The whole article is well worth the read (subscription is required).