October 14th, 2013
01:36 PM ET
12 months ago

Obama warns of default, blames Republicans

Washington (CNN) – Speaking at a local food pantry, President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged the Senate has made "some progress" in a deal to reopen the government and raise the nation's debt ceiling.

But he was not entirely confident the deal would be reached before Thursday's deadline, when the Treasury Department says it will no longer be able to pay all of the government's bills.

The president said "we stand a good chance of defaulting" if "Republicans aren't willing to set aside some of their partisan concerns," adding that a default would have a "potentially devastating effect on our economy."

On the Columbus Day holiday, Obama visited Martha's Table, a food pantry in Washington that provides groceries, as well as daycare, after-school and summer programs.

"Part of the reason I'm here today is because we've got a lot of volunteers here who are furloughed federal workers," the president said, wearing a green Martha's Table apron. "And yet they're here contributing and giving back to the community, and I think that shows the kind of spirit that we have among all kinds of federal workers all across the country."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Monday after meeting with his Republican counterpart that a deal was closer to end the partial government shutdown and avoid a default as soon as Thursday.

Separately, House Speaker John Boehner and other top House GOP leaders will meet Monday to discuss their options and consider preparing their own bill to raise the debt ceiling.

The president meets with Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi later on Monday.

"This week we'll be entering into the third week of a government shutdown that was completely unnecessary," he said, mentioning that he'll be meeting with congressional leaders. "I am going to once again urge them to open the government and make sure the United States' government is paying its bills."

He added, "The problem is that we've seen this brinkmanship as a strategy time and time again to try to extract extreme or partisan concessions."

Republican Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday agreed the government should not pass the debt ceiling deadline, but argued the president has been trying to "scare people" in his warnings about the consequences of a government default.

"It's irresponsible for him to scare people," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "He should be the opposite. The leader of the country should be soothing the markets and saying we will always pay the interest on our debt."

– CNN's Jim Acosta and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Government Shutdown • President Obama
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. barryinlasvegas

    Obama is President. If the country goes into default it is his name that history will record as being the first President who allowed this to happen. The footnote will be that there was a Republican House and Democrat Senate that could not agree and that Obama sat on the sidelines.

    October 14, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Maybe we should default and let the GOP traitors reap what they sowed.

    October 14, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. sifto

    when has he EVER taken responsibility for anything? Republicans are not the leaders...he is..even if he has been MIA while the country burns...

    October 14, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. luke,az

    Keep up the pressure on the tea party Taliban Mr. President. You learned after the sequester that this small group of lunatics in the House would not negotiate. It's time for John "No Balls" Boehner to show some courage and do the right thing. Bring the impending bill from the Senate to the floor. Mr. President, you are on the right track.

    October 14, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Winston Smith

    If the republicans insist on dragging the country down the drain, they'd better get ready to suffer the consequences come election day in 2014, and 2016. It's a good bet they'll never see the inside of a political office for many years to come.

    October 14, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Wes

    Worst president ever.

    October 14, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    @barryinlasvegas: "Obama is President. If the country goes into default it is his name that history will record as being the first President who allowed this to happen. The footnote will be that there was a Republican House and Democrat Senate that could not agree and that Obama sat on the sidelines."

    Your post is full of lies – but is believed by all the RWNJ who hate our president so much that they are willing to destroy our country. These same people are like the third of Louisiana Republicans who believe that President Obama is to blame for the slow response to Hurricane Katrina ...

    October 14, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    @sifto: "when has he EVER taken responsibility for anything? Republicans are not the leaders...he is..even if he has been MIA while the country burns..."

    Congress controls the purse strings; a whacko minority (aka, tea baggers) have taken control of the repub majority in the House.

    The lack of leadership has been John Boehner, who is afraid of losing his job and letting the tea baggers run the show.

    This can all be ended today, with a simple full House vote on the continuing resolution. You know it and I know it.

    October 14, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Bettina

    Obama doing a photo op in a food pantry ...., is that what you expect of your leader when your house is falling down.
    Americans are dumb and getting dumber for expecting so little of him .

    October 14, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Wes

    Isn't this the idiot who golfs all the time?

    October 14, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. michael

    Yes, Mr President Repuglicans are to blame! Repuglicans are obstructive, narcisstic, extremist and ideologically bent to destroying our country! They tried under Bush letting Wall street, Fanny Mae, Banks, Defense Contractors, creations of Wars , the republican congress, and not paying for nothing run this country in the ground! Repuglicans will vote against their own interest, programs, bill, and eat their own due to their hate for a Black man getting into the presidency!

    October 14, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. smith

    Its both the dems and gop`s fault along with president. Anyone saying one party is to blame is speaking with political bias.

    October 14, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. freedom

    This president has no integrity.

    October 14, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  14. orrball

    Notice one more thing that is not his fault

    October 14, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  15. luke,az

    The Republican autopsy revealed that they were infected by the tea party disease. This disease is terminal. This disease is similar to salmonella. The Republican party allowed Ron Paul, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz into their party too quickly without vetting them for their principles. Their relationship didn't cook long enough, and now The Republican party is in the ICU.

    October 14, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Tony

    Barryinlasvegas, George W. Bush was the president when the Twin Towers came down. Do we blame Bush for what terrorists did? No. We blame Bush for what he did (for example, going to the wrong country to fight terrorists).

    October 14, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. davehhds

    I say TAR and FEATHER the Idiot Republicans, chain them together and make them walk out of Washington through the poor sections of town. They are worse than disgusting. They are trying to destroy this country and lead us into a class war.

    October 14, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Ol' Yeller

    The country burning?!?! What?!?!? My congressman said this was no big deal. Nothing would happen. It was all an Obama Lie. Oh my...
    Why don't the liars who are causing this just come out and tell the truth, which would go something like this...
    We want power and we want to control the people of America. However, there is this silly little thing called elections where you peons get to vote and for whatever reason we can't win fair and square and stealing another election through the court is a no go, because that looked bad and we can't get Roberts to agree, despite the other 4 being all for it.. All we can manage is a few more gerrymandered house seats.... Anyway, I digress... we don't care if defaulting ruins America because we hate Obama more. So if you can't beat them... hit them in the head with a crowbar when they aren't looking and set their house on fire. As long as I get rich out of the deal, what does it matter what happens to the rest of you morons who beleived we were actually the good guys.
    Outwitted. Outlasted. Outplayed.

    October 14, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Name

    Negotiations is for people that understand not wasting your time with those clowns, looking at the wetbags talking about Obama like he is the one doing this, those are the people you fools elected so look at it, the president is not going to suffer any thing from the shut down, your can call him with all your racial name but he is still the president of the dividend states of America

    October 14, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. Hooper

    What's the difference of left wing bias, and right wing stupidity. Ans: Nothing. You right wingers need to turn the knob on your radio now and then. Lush Plumprump's talking points are getting mighty old.

    October 14, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  21. Toph

    ThinkAgain

    @barryinlasvegas: "Obama is President. If the country goes into default it is his name that history will record as being the first President who allowed this to happen. The footnote will be that there was a Republican House and Democrat Senate that could not agree and that Obama sat on the sidelines."

    Your post is full of lies – but is believed by all the RWNJ who hate our president so much that they are willing to destroy our country. These same people are like the third of Louisiana Republicans who believe that President Obama is to blame for the slow response to Hurricane Katrina ...
    ______________________
    Nope buddy he tells the truth, Obama is president and he will go down as the one that allowed this to happen!!! Congress compromised multiple times, did the dems in the senate compomise once??? NOPE I didn't think so!!!! Bottom line is Obama is the leader and he allowed it to happen on his watch!!! When an employee breaks the law at a bank, guess who takes the fall, the CEO, same thing here!!! I know because I have seen it working in the banking industry for over 15 years now. Get a clue you brain washed moron!!!

    October 14, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Marcus (from...?)

    sifto – when has he EVER taken responsibility for anything? Republicans are not the leaders...he is..even if he has been MIA while the country burns...

    Well, the most recent 'I own it' he has said comes from last week. His speech from back he was a Senator and went against raising the debt limit? The one that Richard Long (and all his aliases) post like ten times a day? He said that he owns that speech, and if that's not take responsability then what it is?
    And that's the latest I can recall.
    As for the 'Republicans are not the leaders...' you're right of course, but that's not a question of leadership, it's about who can end this stuff by allowing a vote on the debt ceiling, the most urgent matter at the moment, and another vote at the funding of the govt. (the second most urgent matter), there's only ONE guy that can do either or both and that's thanks to a little change of the rules that was done hours before the shutdown.
    His name?
    John Boehner.

    October 14, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. LOL

    Tony

    Barryinlasvegas, George W. Bush was the president when the Twin Towers came down. Do we blame Bush for what terrorists did? No. We blame Bush for what he did (for example, going to the wrong country to fight terrorists).
    __________
    LOL actually YES many Dems do blame him for that everyday!!!! LMFAO Clueless aren't you???

    October 14, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. ED1

    This how Obama leads nothing but blame somebody else never his fault unless it will make him and his Democrat buddies look good.

    What a waste of our tax dollars no leadership in the White House.

    October 14, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |