Obama Says He Can Do Business With Boehner, Republican Leaders

Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said progress in efforts to address unemployment and economic growth may hinge on House Speaker John Boehner’s ability to move his Republican caucus to make difficult decisions to move the country forward.

“The issue’s not going to be whether I can do business with John Boehner,” Obama said in an interview broadcast today on CBS’s “Sunday Morning” program. “The issue is if John Boehner and I are able to come to agreement, can he sell it among his fellow Republicans inside the House of Representatives. And so far, at least, that’s proven to be difficult.”

Obama, who did the CBS interview while traveling in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois last week, was responding to a question about whether he can reach a deal with Republicans on the jobs and growth package he plans to introduce after Labor Day. He said his dealings with Boehner, an Ohio Republican, over efforts to raise the nation’s debt ceiling raises questions about Republicans’ willingness to compromise.

“I’m willing to at least go to my party, to go to my fellow Democrats and say to them, ‘You know what, even if there’s some things that you think aren’t good short-term politics, this is good for the country,’” Obama said. “If that’s happening on both sides, there’s no reason why we can’t solve problems.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Mott in Washington at gmott1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net