At his press conference Monday morning, President Obama got a tough question from Major Garrett about the politics of debt-ceiling negotiations. In his response, the President blamed GOP absolutism for the crisis; then, as if missing his own point, offered a list of compromises he absolutely would not consider.

In his question, Major Garrett pointed out that Obama himself once made a vote against raising the debt limit and suggested that resolving the situation might require both sides to talk rather than posture. Obama responded:

Well, no, Major. I think if you look at the history, getting votes for the debt ceiling is always difficult and budgets in this town are always difficult. I went through this just last year. But what’s different is we never saw a situation as we saw last year in which certain groups in Congress took such an absolutist position that we came within a few days of defaulting.

And, you know, the fact of the matter is, is that we have never seen the debt ceiling used in this fashion, where the notion was, you know what, we might default unless we get 100 percent of what we want.

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