Obama to Boehner: “You get nothing. I get that for free”

A report details the talks between the president and the speaker -- and finds Obama playing a stronger hand

Topics: John Boehner, Barack Obama, Fiscal cliff, I get that for free,

Obama to Boehner: "You get nothing. I get that for free" (Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster)

The Wall Street Journal has the behind-the-scenes account today of the chilly and contentious “fiscal cliff” talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.

In the piece, Obama comes across as emboldened post-election to push for a better deal than the debt ceiling “grand bargain” that collapsed during the summer of 2011. Boehner, meanwhile, wanted something in return if he agreed to raise income tax rates on those earning more than $1 million a year.

When Boehner asked Obama if they agree on a deal along the same lines as the one he walked away from during the 2011 talks, according to the paper, Obama retorted: “You missed your opportunity on that.”

You Might Also Like

Obama’s frustrations grew, and he told Boehner he would rail publicly against the Republicans in the absence of a reasonable compromise.

As the Journal reports:

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.”

Also during the talks, as Obama bristled over Boehner’s unwillingness to budge on rates, the paper reports that he snapped: “You’re asking me to accept Mitt Romney’s tax plan. Why would I do that?”

When a possible deal fell apart Monday — after Boehner moved toward accepting a rate increase on some higher earners, and Obama indicated a willingness to deal on Social Security — Boehner moved to his “Plan B,” which he ultimately pulled after it became clear his GOP caucus would not support it.

The House has now recessed until after Christmas, and the president is spending the holiday in Hawaii.

David Daley is the editor-in-chief of Salon

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 10
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Michael Ohl/Museum fur Naturkunde

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Soul-Sucking Dementor Wasp

    Latin name: Ampulex dementor

    Truong Ngyuen

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    10,000th reptile species

    Latin name: Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi

    Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Colour-changing thorny frogs

    Latin name: Gracixalus lumarius

    Judith L. Eger

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Long-fanged bat

    Latin name: Hypsugo dolichodon

    Neang Thy Moe/FFI

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Stealthy wolf snake

    Latin name: Lycodon zoosvictoriae

    Michael Janes

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Feathered coral

    Latin name: Ovabunda andamanensis

    Jerome Constant

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    World's second-longest insect

    Phryganistria heusii yentuensis

    Nantasak Pinkaew

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 8

    Latin name: Sirindhornia spp

    Tim Johnson

    Soul-sucking 'dementor' wasps and 8 other crazy new species

    Slide 9

    Tylototriton shanorum

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>