NBC: Obama for 'Balanced Approach,' Boehner 'Seemed to Reject All Talk of Compromise'

On Tuesday's NBC Today, correspondent Kristen Welker portrayed President Obama as the great compromiser while reporting on his Monday night address on the debt ceiling: "...the President still pushed for a balanced approach, cut spending and raise tax revenue....With time running out, the President called for compromise."

In contrast, Welker depicted House Speaker John Boehner as stubborn and unwilling to deal: "Boehner seemed to reject all talk of compromise, backing a House GOP plan....Earlier, the President did endorse a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid....But Boehner said that's not the answer."

Welker touted how Obama called on the American people to do his bidding: "Monday night the President urged viewers to call Congress to push for his approach before it's too late."

Concluding her report, Welker lamented: "Despite the fact that the President has been calling for this balanced approach with spending cuts and new tax revenues, neither the House nor Senate plan includes new revenues." She never suggested that Obama's insistence on tax hikes was stubborn or out of touch.

Immediately following the President's address on Monday, Meet the Press host David Gregory actually claimed that Obama was doing Boehner a favor by attacking House Republicans.


Here is a full transcript of the July 26 segment:

7:00AM TEASE

ANN CURRY: Good morning. War of words. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner clash in dueling prime time speeches over the cause and cure of the nation's debt crisis.

BARACK OBAMA: This is no way to run the greatest country on Earth.

JOHN BOEHNER: And the sad truth is that the President wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today.

CURRY: Which side will blink first? With the deadline now just one week away.

7:01AM TEASE

MATT LAUER: And boy, it was interesting to watch these two speeches in prime time last night. The President went first and delivered a tough message at the White House. He warned Americans of an impending economic crisis if Congress fails to pass a comprehensive budget deal in only seven days. And, of course, he pointed a finger of blame directly at the Republicans.

CURRY: That's right. And the President described what's happening in Washington as a, quote, 'partisan three-ring circus.' But House Speaker Boehner fired right back, saying even when a deal appears within reach, the President, he said, would not take yes for an answer. So we've got the latest in a live report from Washington coming up just ahead.

7:02AM SEGMENT

CURRY: We begin this morning with the debt showdown in Washington. NBC's Kristen Welker is at the White House with more. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER: Good morning to you, Ann. Well, with that deadline looming, there's really a heightened sense of urgency to get something done here at the White House and on Capitol Hill. This after a night of political theater in which both sides still seem as far apart as ever.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: One Week to Go; President & Boehner Take Debt Duel to Nation]

BARACK OBAMA: Tonight I want to talk about the debate we've been having in Washington-

WELKER: For only the seventh time in his presidency, Mr. Obama delivered a prime time speech, painting a dire picture of what will happen if Congress doesn't raise the nation's debt ceiling by next week.

OBAMA: Interest rates would skyrocket on credit cards, on mortgages and on car loans, which amounts to a huge tax hike on the American people.

WELKER: Despite weeks of partisan wrangling, the President still pushed for a balanced approach, cut spending and raise tax revenue.

OBAMA: The only reason this balanced approach isn't on its way to becoming law right now is because a significant number of Republicans in Congress are insisting on a different approach, a cuts-only approach, an approach that doesn't ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute anything at all.

WELKER: With time running out, the President called for compromise.

JOHN BOEHNER: I'm John Boehner.

WELKER: But just two minutes after the President spoke, House Speaker John Boehner gave his side.

BOEHNER: The sad truth is that the President wanted a blank check six months ago and he wants a blank check today. This is just not going to happen.

WELKER: Boehner seemed to reject all talk of compromise, backing a House GOP plan that's a two-step approach. First, slash spending by $1.2 trillion and raise the debt limit, then revisit the issue next year before the 2012 election.

BOEHNER: Obviously I expect that bill can and will pass the Senate and be sent to the President for his signature. And if the President signs it, the crisis atmosphere that he has created will simply disappear.

WELKER: Earlier, the President did endorse a plan put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which would raise the debt limit to 2013, after the election. It calls for $2.7 trillion in spending cuts. But Boehner said that's not the answer.

BOEHNER: The solution to this crisis is not complicated. If you're spending more money than you're taking in, you need to spend less of it.

WELKER: Monday night the President urged viewers to call Congress to push for his approach before it's too late.

OBAMA: If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.

BOEHNER: This debate isn't about President Obama and House Republicans, it isn't about Congress and the White House. It's about what's standing between the American people and the future we seek for ourselves and our families.

OBAMA: It's a dangerous game that we've never played before, and we can't afford to play it now.

BOEHNER: In Washington, more spending and more debt is business as usual. Well, I've got news for Washington, those days are over.

WELKER: Now, looks like Speaker Boehner's plan will be voted on first, likely as early as tomorrow. One more interesting note, despite the fact that the President has been calling for this balanced approach with spending cuts and new tax revenues, neither the House nor Senate plan includes new revenues. Ann.

CURRY: Alright, Kristen Welker this morning, thank you.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC