Obama To Republicans On Fiscal Cliff: “Take The Deal”

“They keep on finding ways to say no,” says the president.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the fiscal cliff to members of the media in the White House Briefing Room December 19, 2012. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama offered a message to House Republicans on the fiscal cliff, encouraging them to accept his plan to avert a tax hike on most Americans.

“Take the deal,” he said Wednesday, taking questions on the fiscal cliff talks after announcing a new commission on gun violence.

Obama said he has already moved “at least half-way” toward Republicans, saying they need to do what is right for the country.

“They keep on finding ways to say no, as opposed to finding ways to say yes,” Obama said, suggesting the only reason they won’t agree to a deal is because they are negotiating with him. “They need to take me out of it, and think about what’s best for their voters, and what’s best for the country.”

Noting that many in the country have been roiled by natural disasters and a slow recovery and don’t need the added burden of uncertainty, Obama said, “The country deserves folks to be willing to compromise.

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