Obama on debt ceiling battle: “This is not normal”
October 12th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
12 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. D. Wayne Love

    I'm a long term Republican and I think Obama is just dreamy. If I was my aunt I'd so snuggle with him.

    October 12, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. ST

    Each and everything is not normal at the moment Mr. President. I have been wondering, how come republicans who used to be taken as good thinkers, can be dragged to the trapp by a very little known Senator from Texas (Canada), Rafael Cruz? What were they thinking? This is not normal!

    October 12, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. Diane L

    "“This is not normal." Hey Pres Obama, did you forget those days as Senator when Bush was President. Obstruction was the democrats way...... so I guess this administration is more of the "do as I say" then the do as I did type........

    October 12, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. G

    republicans killing America since 1980

    October 12, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. w l jones

    Maybe maybe something good will come out this debject debul between the two party. Just think if technolgy in Neauclear science has not stop 1.8 billion years ago we would not a home planet Earth.

    October 12, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Diane – not true.

    October 12, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Name

    The key phrase here is used to be. Good thinkers met the laffer curve 20 years ago and the rest is history.

    October 12, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. the hippies were right

    Republican moderators today?

    October 12, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Ron -IN

    America has reached a serious crossroads. The MAIN reason is APATHY among the populous. To many of us do not actively participate in the process until something goes TERRIBLY WRONG. So America if you are TRULY fed up with the current situation? WE need to do 3 things to turn it around:
    a) DEMAND that the individual states have congressional districts determined by non-partisan committees. There are
    too many "safe seats" for both Democratic and Republicans members of the house.
    b) Move ALL voting elections to SATURDAY or make it a PAID HOLIDAY.
    c) Quit just complaining and VOTE in both Primaries and General elections!!!!

    THINK about it, America is "suppose" to be the beacon of Democracy and we NEVER see elections were 70% of the electorate votes. If most of us voted in the PRIMARIES and the GENERAL elections 80% of the uncompromising Congress Members would not be in office. You see, what we are experiencing is our OWN FAULT!!! Apathy has finally caught up to us, the question is WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NOW!!

    October 12, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. labman57

    Once again, Congressional Republicans are demonstrating an inability to learn from their previous mistakes.

    So after the debt limit isn’t raised and the global economy tanks, will Mr. InstaTan and his self-serving cohort in Congress thump their chests and declare “I did that!”, or will they sheepishly utter “oops!” and slink into the shadows?

    October 12, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Good Job Mr . President !
    You bargained , you compromised and you acted in good faith in your first term with the sloth obstructionist GOP .
    How do you deal with the Ted Cruz's ,Michele Bachmann's ,Louie Gohmert 's , you can't .
    As long as those that are posting below are sniveling with disinformation , fear and hate , your doing a GREAT JOB !

    @freedom
    We aren't IDEAS – we're CITIZENS. His political crap and NARCISSISM is BRINGING THIS COUNTRY DOWN.
    @Stuffit
    Thus declares the most corrupt president in our history. And the welfare frauds and dope addicts applaud while hard working taxpayers suffer more.
    @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 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Chris Wyman

    I love Obama he's a do nothing President that talks a lot but hasn't got any accomplishments he can point to.

    October 12, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  13. Kenny K, CPA, CGMA

    In other to reduce debts, budget that has a net positive balance need to be prepared and followed. Over the years, Congress has been approving budgets that have negative balances, and those negative balances have been covered or paid for by loans and debt ceiling increases.

    Currently, Congress need to increase debt limit to be able to pay obligations they have already approved and incurred. After that, they should come up with a net positive budget.

    October 12, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Gunderson

    Old Gunderson remember Aesop Fable about Goose that Lay Golden Egg. Liberal's want do great things Just want Conservatives Provide Money. Sorry Conservatives broke. Liberal's spend all money long time ago. But keep spend, spend, spend. You bite hand feed you. Conservative's provide jobs. Liberal's want money. No jobs, no money. Not normal? Yes normal. 17 Trillion dollars in debt "Normal".

    October 12, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. April Moreno

    Why should the president negotiate with terrorist holding the nation hostage. Obama wants to talk to the saner republicans if they are any left.

    October 12, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Winston Smith

    Republicans have been trying to kill all of the programs put forth by F.D.R., since these programs were implemented in the mid thirties and early forties. It's been a war of attrition, but with the help of the under educated and non educated populace of the nation, they've almost succeeded. Thanks to you, it works for them.

    October 12, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Larry in Houston

    """"This is not normal," said the President"""
    Obama is right, it would be "normal" when you see someone like "uncle fester" having his head in a Vise, but not our commander in chief having his head in a Vise by the bonehead & company.

    October 12, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    After all the GOP garbage of America is kicked out of office in 2014- 2016 things will be back to normal. The GOP is screwing their own red state voters with their idiotic gov shutdown, the GOP party of stupid strikes AGAIN!!!!!!

    October 12, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Tim

    Obama your the idiot in chief. When you were Senator you voted against raising the debt ceiling. Now your crying like a little baby.

    October 12, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    @Dianle L,

    "Obstruction was the democrats way"

    Prove?

    And please cite the time when Democrats refused to pass a budget unless their ideological wish-list was added to a debt-ceiling raise. Cite any other time in history, besides 1995-6 (when the GOP ran Congress), when a national default seemed imminent. We shall wait.

    Sorry, destroying the country belongs all to the GOP, now and in history. All your default are belong to GOP.

    October 12, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. barryinlasvegas

    It is normal and Obama has negotiated before. The bottom line is – Obama is president. If the country goes into default history will record that he was the first president to take the country into default. The Republican leaders will simply be a footnote to that history. Obama will have to own it whether he wants to or not.

    October 12, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    @Diane L: The Democrats were opposed to some of Bush's initiatives (thank GOD they did, when Bush tried to privatize Social Security .... and a couple years later, Wall Street crashed the global economy). But Democrats NEVER used extortion, NEVER threatened to damage the good faith and credit of our country the way the tea baggers have.

    So I guess the GOP, baggers and folks like you are more of the "ignore reality" than "actually deal with reality" types ...

    October 12, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain

    What's not "normal" is the refusal of the Speaker of the House to let a clean continuing resolution come to the floor for a vote.

    If Boehner and the tea rags and the GOP have such confidence that it will fail, THEN PROVE IT.

    October 12, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. orrball

    the man will go down in history just for what has happened up tell know ! Jimmy Carter love you Obama

    October 12, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Fair is fair

    Get lost Obama! Your nose has been growing since Wall Street put you in office

    October 12, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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