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Tuesday
Aug022011

Obama Defends Debt Ceiling Decision to Supporters 

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama asked for about 140 seconds of his supporters' time Monday to explain in a video released by his re-election campaign why he did what he did to push through a deal on raising the nation's debt ceiling.

The president explained that Washington had no other choice but to avoid defaulting on the government's bills, a default that would have dealt "a devastating blow to our economy at a time when we can least afford it."

In downplaying the GOP success in getting the deal done, Obama also tried to minimize the coming $1 trillion in spending cuts that will occur over the first decade of the plan.

What the president said he's most concerned with is the second phase of the proposal, involving a special commission of 12 legislators who will recommend reductions to shrink the deficit by another $1.5 trillion by 2021.

With their recommendations due this November, Obama vowed to push for an end to tax breaks for the top two percent of American wage-earners and corporations, saying a balanced approach is the best way to replenish the nation's coffers.

Failing that, triggers are built into the plan that would mean automatic big reductions in Medicare and Pentagon spending.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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