Obama chats with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton


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President Obama called on a higher power to help him understand what happened — or rather, didn’t happen — as the congressional super committee announced Monday that it failed to reach a deal to cut $1.2 trillion from the national budget.

And then he called Al Sharpton.

Obama spoke to Sharpton on his syndicated radio show, “Keepin it Real With Al Sharpton,” on Monday, saying he was disappointed but hopeful that legislators could reach an agreement.


“It must be my religious faith, reverend, because hope springs eternal … and I continue to believe that at some point, common sense will prevail and we’ll be able to work something out,” Obama said.

The full interview is set to air Tuesday on Sharpton’s radio show, but the new TV host pulled a few key bits of it for the Monday episode of his fledgling MSNBC series, “PoliticsNation.”

During the chat, Obama reiterated his long-held stance on doing away with the Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans and curbing both domestic and defense spending. He took aim at the Republicans in Congress for being inflexible and “short sighted.”

“There’s no doubt that I’m disappointed that not just Congress generally but the Republicans in particular are not willing to put serious revenue on the table as part of a balanced plan,” Obama said.

The president said Republicans haven’t wavered from their insistence on cutting areas like education and Medicare, “putting more of a burden on people who can least afford it.”

Instead, Obama has proposed asking the country’s well heeled — and he included himself and Sharpton in that group — to pay more taxes to prop up those who are struggling in the economic downturn. He proposed “prudent” and “selective” cuts instead of wholesale slashing, as some Republican lawmakers have suggested.

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— T.L. Stanley