As the battle over raising the debt ceiling looms large in Congress, President Obama explained to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos why he voted in 2006 against a debt-limit increase, risking what his White House calls today economic “armageddon.”
The short version, from Obama: I was young and naive.
Obama, from ABC’s transcript:
I think that it’s important to understand the vantage point of a Senator versus the vantage point of a…President. When you’re a Senator, traditionally what’s happened is this is always a lousy vote. Nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit for the United States by a trillion dollars… As President, you start realizing, “You know what? We— we can’t play around with this stuff. This is the full faith in credit of the United States.” And so that was just a example of a new Senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country. And I’m the first one to acknowledge it.
Obama told Stephanopoulos that he expects many of the Republicans in the Senate to act the way he did five years ago. He’s planning on getting the ceiling raised with Democratic support, though Obama added “we’re going to need some votes from the other side.”
The full interview will air on Thursday’s edition of ABC World News Tonight.
Watch the debt ceiling clip released this afternoon: