President Barack Obama offered a harsh diagnosis of the GOP Thursday, saying the desire to protect the wealthy from tax hikes is the 'thing that binds their party together at this point.'
Speaking on MSNBC host Al Sharpton's radio program Thursday, the president cited a recent poll that showed 75 percent of Americans prefer his approach to reducing the deficit with a mix of tax hikes for corporations and wealthy individuals and spending cuts. Republican leaders prefer a cuts-only plan.
"My sense is that their basic view is that nothing is important enough to raise taxes on wealthy individuals or corporations, and they would prefer to see these kinds of cuts that could slow down our recovery over closing tax loopholes," Obama said. "That's the thing that binds their party together at this point. This is a major argument, obviously, that we've been having for the last three years."
Unless Congress and Obama reach a deal to reduce the deficit, $85 billion in automatic across the board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs known as "the sequester" will kick in March 1.