In a rare appearance on Meet The Press Sunday, President Obama accused Republicans of refusing to accept the will of the American people as stated on Election Day and to compromise on a "sensible" deal to avert the looming fiscal cliff.
Arguing that he and Democrats had, "moved more than halfway" in an attempt to avert the automatic budget cuts and tax increases set to kick in next month should the government not pass a large debt reduction plan, Obama blamed Republican brinkmanship for bringing the nation right to that deadline with no deal in place. He also defended his role in the negotiations, saying that while it fell on him to take the lead, he couldn't be expected to get anything done without at least some compromise from his Republican counterparts.
"Anybody objectively who's looked at this would say that we have put forward not only a sensible deal, but one that has the support of the majority of the American people, including close to half of Republicans," Obama said.
Pointing to public opinion polls that have found Americans overwhelmingly in favor of Democratic proposals to address the fiscal cliff, Obama said Republicans were acting counter to the stated will of the people. The president also cast his reelection—and the strong showing of Democrats nationwide in November—as a clear vote from the American people in favor of his policies.
"There is a basic fairness that is at stake in this whole thing that the American people understand. And they listened to an entire year's debate about it," he said. "They made a clear decision about the approach they prefer."
"At a certain point it is very important for Republicans in Congress to be willing to say, 'We understand we are not going to get 100 percent. We are willing to compromise in a serious way in order to solve problems instead of being worried about the next election,'" he added.
Watch video of the interview below: