During his Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," President Obama vowed to support legislative efforts to curtail gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
"I think there are a vast majority of responsible gun owners out there who recognize that we can't have a situation in which somebody with severe psychological problems is able to get the kind of high capacity weapons that this individual in Newtown obtained and gun down our kids. And, yes, it's going to be hard," Obama told host David Gregory, recalling the day he heard of the murder of 20 children in Connecticut as the worst day of his presidency.
Obama also discussed fiscal cliff negotiations. He repeatedly placed the blame on Republicans for failure to reach a compromise, noting the GOP "had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers." In contrast, the president defended his own record of spending cuts, telling Gregory:
I campaigned on the promise of being willing to reduce the deficit in a serious way, in a balanced approach of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy while keeping middle class taxes low. I put forward a very specific proposal to do that. I negotiated with Speaker Boehner in good faith and moved more than halfway in order to achieve a grand bargain. I offered over a trillion dollars in additional spending cuts so that we would have $2 of spending cuts for every $1 of increased revenue.
The president stressed the importance of Congress reaching at least a scaled-back deal to stop taxes automatically going up, even if a comprehensive package won't be reached before the fiscal cliff deadline.