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'Take Me Out Of It,' President Urges GOP, And 'Take The Deal'

With the end-of-year deadline looming on automatic tax increases and spending cuts, President Obama on Wednesday made the case that Republicans should recognize "I have met them at least halfway in order to get something done for the country."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his fellow Republicans should "take the deal," Obama argued, because "if the argument from Republicans is we haven't done enough on spending cuts, that argument's not going to fly. ... We've got close to $1 trillion in spending cuts" in his latest offer.

The other side, as we've reported, doesn't share the president's view. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Boehner said the administration has proposed $1 trillion in new revenues, "but "only $850 billion in net spending reductions."

Talking to reporters in the White House briefing room at midday, Obama also said Republicans may be resisting a deal because "it's very hard for them to say yes to me. ... They've got to take me out of it and think about their voters and what's best for the country."

And he said that Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., should make all lawmakers think again about priorities. "Goodness, if this past week has done anything it should just give us some perspective," Obama said. "Right now, what the country needs is for us to compromise."

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Boehner Responds:

Echoing comments he's made many times in recent days, Boehner just told reporters that he hopes "the president gets serious soon." On Thursday, Boehner predicted, the House will pass the GOP's "plan B." Then, he said, Obama has a choice: get Senate Democrats to pass the plan "or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history" as Bush-era tax cuts expire.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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