As House Republican leaders struggle to sell their spending agreement, President Obama is privately crowing to supporters that he stood up the GOP on health care and won big time.
Republicans have made defunding Democrats’ health care law a top priority, but at a closed-to-the-press fundraiser Obama candidly described to donors how he defeated their attempts. Perhaps not realizing his mic was on, Obama’s private remarks were caught by CBS correspondent Mark Knoller, who was able to listen to through a live audio feed.
“I said, ‘You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate,” Obama said, describing his negotiations with Speaker John Boehner. “You’re not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we’re stupid?’”
According to CBS, Obama quoted himself as telling Boehner to “Put it in a separate bill,” adding that “if you think you can overturn my veto, try it. But don’t try to sneak this through.”
Watch the CBS report below.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.