Obama on debt ceiling battle: “This is not normal”
October 12th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 months ago

Obama on debt ceiling battle: “This is not normal”

Updated: 11:46 a.m. ET, 10/12/2013

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Saturday in his weekly address that Congress needs to "pass a budget, put people back to work, and end this shutdown."

The President's comments came with both the House and Senate in session this weekend, as lawmakers try to reach agreement on ending the partial federal government shutdown and extend the nation's debt ceiling in advance of next week's deadline.

Friday, the President met with a group of nearly 150 top U.S. business leaders. He filled them in on the conversations he's had at the White House since Wednesday with congressional leaders on reopening the government and removing the threat of default on the nation's credit. Obama said small-business owners have "lost contracts, lost customers, and put hiring on hold" as a trickle down result of the partial government shutdown.

The President said "it wouldn't be wise" to temporarily raise the debt ceiling.

"Kicking the debt ceiling can down the road for a couple months" would damage "America's sterling credit rating," he said.

Responding to a proposal by House Republican leaders to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks, Obama called it unwise to "flirt with a first-ever intentional default right in the middle of the holiday shopping season."

The United States lost its Standard and Poor's triple-A credit rating more than two years ago - on August 5, 2011 - during a previous partisan battle over extending the debt ceiling

"This is not normal," said the President, who implored the American people to remember that "politics is a battle of ideas, but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation – not extortion."

Then he said it again: "This is not normal."

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Shelia

    "but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation"

    We did Mr. President where were you playing golf? The house changed through election which means the "people" did not like the direction you were going or do you think that is not normal.

    October 12, 2013 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Republicans have been responsible for every economic disaster in our history: the Great Depression, the great Bush recession of 2008, the sequester shutdown of 2011, the government shut down of 2013, and next week their default begins the second Great Depression.

    October 12, 2013 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Obamacare is 4 times more popular than congress. With an approval rating of 20%, you would think that Cruz would stop saying , "The American people don't want this ..." He and the republicans are clueless about what the American people want. Koch brothers maybe, but not the American people.

    October 12, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  4. Reality Check

    Sterling Credit Rating? Are you kidding? The Gov't is spending 25%+ more than it takes in!!! Oh and as for those analysts determining our 'credit rating', 23 of them had Bear Sterns as a buy the day the company went bust!

    October 12, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  5. Angela

    I consider myself independent, but leaned Republican for many years. Not now. The GOP has allowed the Tea Party thugs to take over and it is NOT good for the country. The GOP leadership needs to admit it's mistake, pass clean CR and debt ceiling increase legislation, then get back to the business of running our country.

    October 12, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    No.......there is nothing "normal" about having a dictator in America,..........but that's what we have, so we have to deal with that problem.

    October 12, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. Norma Vessels

    Stand your ground, sir. This is way too important to give in to the far right thinkers. They have no good intentions .. they never will. Let them stew in their own incompetence. We will help you in 2014 elections, because that's the only thing they listen to, occasionally.

    October 12, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  8. Liz the First

    The silver lining in all this is that the American people who didn't already know this are finally seeing the repugs for what they really are, a party totally incapable of responsible government who put their radical ideology and their mindless hatred of our president ahead of the good of the country. let's hope this lesson sticks with us thru the 2014 mid-term elections. how many times do we have to be hit in the face with a 2×4 before this lesson sinks in for good? 'remember the shutdown!' should be the slogan of every Democrat running next year.

    October 12, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  9. Dave

    What is not normal is Obama's insistence on spending outrageous amounts of money that does not exist. Forget taxpayer's money, this is money spent out of thin air.

    October 12, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  10. Evergreen

    The party that got elected on Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Is actually the ones destroying jobs and will ruin the holiday season for retailers and families. Why?

    October 12, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. What's in that tea anyway?

    Mr. President, There is nothing normal about the feckless, stunningly vapid, hypocritical Tea Fools and the GOP has hitched their wagon to these crazies that have bombs strapped to their chests.....the kamikazi caucus is an apt name...promising to destroy this country if they don't get their way...AND THEY WON'T....too many sane americans to allow these economic terrorists anywhere near the levers of national government...we have send them back to their red state originals so they can rightfully do jobs they are qualified...i.e. judging pig calling contests.

    October 12, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  12. terri dalton

    Fourth graders could do a better job . there are worse things that could happened besides being fired. you are messing with people's lifes go to work and do the job you were put there to do.

    October 12, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  13. Bika

    .......but you advance those ideas through elections and legislation – not extortion.”.....

    Oh wait he will use bribes to pass his legislation "health care act"

    October 12, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Mellissa K. Fish

    The Republicans can shut down the government now; we will shut down the Republicans on election day.

    October 12, 2013 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. HenryMiller

    And it's not normal to go on forever spending money you don't have.

    October 12, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Erick Blair

    Obama is a fool. It is never too late for a lobotomy. He could use one.

    October 12, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. jpmichigan

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN."THIS IS NOT NORMAL?" IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR! You refusing to negotiate and the Reps. wanting too. You wanting a shut-down as to blame the Reps once again, for something you are willing to put the American people through. But now it is effecting your creditability poll number, which are in the 30%. The conversation you want is one sided, your side. " Give me what I ask for , but maybe then we will talk, but is there then anything to talk about. I got what I wanted,"

    October 12, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. Stuffit

    Thus declares the most corrupt president in our history. And the welfare frauds and dope addicts applaud while hard working taxpayers suffer more.

    October 12, 2013 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Republicans are fools. The American people have been treated like crap by the GOP. As for blame, 80 congressional repubs sent a letter to Boehner demanding a government shut down so they would not have to pay the bills that congress incurred. The congressional GOP were high fiving each other the day they shut the government down, and Bachmann said the shutdown was exactly what they wanted.

    October 12, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Tampa Tim

    The Kochs have created government corruption by campaign donations to those who would push their anti American agenda.

    October 12, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. freedom

    We aren't IDEAS – we're CITIZENS. His political crap and NARCISSISM is BRINGING THIS COUNTRY DOWN.

    October 12, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  22. Tampa Tim

    The GOP has been responsible for every economic disaster our country faced. The GOP has almost destroyed us, and Boeher is hell bent on finishing the job.

    October 12, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  23. Tony

    HenryMiller, the president cannot spend money that Congress has not approved. If you want to cut government spending, tell Congress to cut spending.

    October 12, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. smith

    This is one big mess and it`s both repbus. and dems fault. Obungles just stands around with a look of confusion waiting for something to happend. Make a deal already. Btw libs, the dems in office right now are just as bad as the gop. Time to come back to the real word of logic.

    October 12, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Hopefully, in the future republicans will think twice before entering into unfunded wars, tax cuts for the wealthy, tax breaks for big oil and coal with no additional revenue, unfunded drug programs.

    October 12, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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