President Barack Obama confidently predicted Friday that a divided Congress would raise the nation’s borrowing limit to cover the staggering federal debt rather than risk triggering a worldwide recession, but he conceded for the first time he would have to offer more spending cuts to Republicans to get a deal.

Pushed to the brink, Obama said, the two parties would find “a smart compromise.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Obama also took pains to promote his long-term plan to cuts trillions of dollars from federal deficits as a fairer, more compassionate alternative to a Republican plan that surged to party-line passage Friday afternoon in the House.

And Obama said in his most forceful terms yet that he had the economic record to win re-election after he had “been able to yank this economy” out of recession.

One week after the near government shutdown _ Obama signed the bill finalizing that legislation after returning to the White House _ the rejuvenated president answered questions in his hometown following an evening of fundraising for his re-election bid and a rare night in his own bed.

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