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Obama Says He's 'Open To Compromise,' But Solutions Must Be 'Balanced'

Vice President Biden looks on as President Obama speaks at the White House.
Mark Wilson
Getty Images
Vice President Biden looks on as President Obama speaks at the White House.

The post-election negotiations over taxes, the economy and the so-called fiscal cliff moved into a new phase this afternoon when President Obama stepped up to a microphone at the White House to lay out his latest thoughts about what needs to be done.

In many ways, this words were echoes from the hard-fought campaign.

"It's time to get back to work and there is plenty of work to do," he said. "The American people voted for action, not politics as usual." And while he is "open to compromise ... [and] new ideas," the president repeated that he is opposed to any deficit plans that do not "combine spending cuts with revenue."

Voters, he said, want to see "cooperation, consensus and common sense. ... I intend to deliver."

The short address was the president's first to the nation since his victory celebration Election Night in Chicago. The last time an incumbent president had the chance to lay out a post-election agenda, of course, was in 2004. Then, President George W. Bush famously said, "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital. And now I intend to spend it. It is my style."

Earlier today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), repeated his call on the Democratic president to take the lead in such talks. Boehner also repeated the basic Republican position: that "lowering [tax] rates and cleaning up the tax code" will spur economic growth.

We updated this post with highlights from the president's remarks.

Update at 1:16 p.m. ET. "I Intend To Deliver":

After saying he is "open to compromise" and "open to new ideas," the president says he also refuses to accept "any approach that isn't balanced." Then he finishes by saying that Americans expect "cooperation, consensus and common sense. ... I intend to deliver in my second term."

Update at 1:14 p.m. ET. Spending Cuts Must Be Paired With "Revenue":

Repeating a theme of his campaign, the president says "we can't just cut our way to prosperity. ... We have to combine spending cuts with revenue." And he says he'll be asking "the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes."

Update at 1:10 p.m. ET. Meeting Next Week:

The president confirms that he's invited Congressional leaders from both parties to a meeting at the White House next week. He also says he's inviting "business, labor and civics leaders."

Update at 1:09 p.m. ET. Time For Action:

As he begins, the president says 'it's time to get back to work and there is plenty of work to do. The American people voted for action, not politics as usual."

Update at 1 p.m. ET. Probably No Questions.

CBS News' Mark Knoller tweets that:

"East Room set up lengthwise. Reporters on the far end. No chance for questions today, though Jay Carney holds press briefing at 2pm/ET."

Update at 12:50 p.m. ET. Meeting At White House Next Week?

"Obama inviting leaders of Congress to White House next week for fiscal cliff talks," The Associated Press says in an "bulletin" it just sent out.

Some earlier coverage:

-- Boehner: 'Raising Tax Rates Is Unacceptable'

-- Opening Lines Set For A Deal To Avoid Fiscal Cliff

-- Shake A Leg Or Throw A Fist? Which Will It Be On Capitol Hill?

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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