Bloomberg Says Obama's Democratic Base Should `Suck It Up' on Tax-Cut Deal

President Barack Obama should tell Democrats angered by his compromises with Republicans on extending tax cuts to “suck it up,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Obama “can’t just sit there and depend on ideology” because “leadership is about doing the possible, not sitting around and waiting for the perfect,” Bloomberg said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Bloomberg told business executives in Brooklyn last week that the U.S. economy will stagnate if Congress remains mired in partisan gridlock. Obama should tell Democratic critics his bipartisan tax-cut deal won’t be the only tough vote of his presidency, Bloomberg said on NBC.

“He says, ‘Look, this is what I did, this is the best I can do. Suck it up,’” Bloomberg said, when asked how Obama should deal with Democrats angered by the tax measure and other compromises with Republicans.

Democrats lost control of the U.S. House and saw their Senate majority narrow in last month’s elections. Voters turned against Democrats in Washington for the same reason they turned against Republicans during George W. Bush’s presidency in 2006, Bloomberg said in a Dec. 8 speech to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Association for a Better New York.

“Democrats now, and Republicans then, spent more time and energy conducting partisan warfare than forging centrist solutions to our toughest economic problems,” Bloomberg said in the speech.

No Presidential Run

Bloomberg, 68, a one-time Democrat, switched to the Republican Party before running for mayor in 2001 and 2005. He gave up all party affiliations in 2007, when he began to explore an independent presidential bid. Bloomberg, who won election to a third four-year term in 2009 on the Republican and Independence Party ballots, said he will serve his full term and doesn’t have presidential aspirations.

“I’m not looking at the possibility of running,” he said on NBC. “No way. No how.”

While Bloomberg said he was encouraged by the tax-cut deal, he said lawmakers must do more to reduce the national debt. That will require a “shared sacrifice” that Obama will have to explain to the public, he said.

“Eventually, they’re going to have to face some of these issues,” Bloomberg said. “Because the Chinese are going to stop buying our debt. We’re going to get to the point where business has so little confidence they’re not willing to expand.”

Business Experience

Bloomberg also said Obama should add people with business experience to his administration such as Roger Altman, the founder of Evercore Partners Inc. and a former deputy Treasury secretary. Altman is a candidate to replace Lawrence Summers as director of the National Economic Council.

“There are other people like that, who can give him a broader perspective,” people who will say “What you’re talking about is theoretical. Let me tell you about the real world,” Bloomberg said on NBC.

Bloomberg is scheduled to speak today at an event for No Labels, a Washington-based group whose goal is “building a broad citizen movement” that will “organize and strengthen the mainstream to the benefit of the country,” according to its website. The group is not promoting any individual for political office, according to the website.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporters on this story: Molly Peterson in Washington at mpeterson9@bloomberg.net

Gopal Ratnam in Washington at gratnam1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva@bloomberg.net

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