Obama: With win, mandate for balanced debt approach

Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
President Obama said if he wins reelection, it will give him a “mandate” to work with Congress to address some of the more difficult issues facing the country, such as the pending tax increases and mandatory budget cuts that will kick in at the end of the year if Congress does not act.

“And after the election, I think that both Democrats and Republicans have to step back and say, ‘You know what, this is something that the country wants to solve,’” Obama said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “If I've won, then I believe that's a mandate for doing it in a balanced way.”

Obama said there are plenty of issues on which he agrees with Republicans, but he also said it was up to the other party to come to the table for compromise on issues like infrastructure, regulations and education. He conceded that it may be difficult.

“There are a whole range of issues, I think, where we can actually bring the country together with a non-ideological agenda,” Obama said. “The question's going to be: How do Republicans in Congress react post-election? Because there's going to be a war going on inside that party.”

The interview wasn't all compromise and bipartisanship. The president also took a shot at his Republican opponent while naming some ways to generate revenue over the long term.

“I stole a whole bunch of ideas from a Massachusetts governor that I think over time is going to save us money,” Obama continued, a reference to the health care plan signed into law in Massachusetts during Mitt Romney's term.

As the campaign enters its final week, Obama said he was optimistic.

“I'm not going to be doing this much longer,” Obama said. “The nice thing is, though, the energy, the crowds that we've seen makes me feel as if we're running this campaign in the right way. We're ending strong. And I think we're going to do well.”
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