Fact check: Obama’s press conference
President Barack Obama had a lot to say about what the “American people” think about the budget impasse during his Friday press conference, but his statements weren’t always accurate.
During his morning presser, Obama said Americans agree with him on the budget deal, and that they believe in a tax hike and in the preservation of entitlement programs.
“The bottom line is that this is not an issue of salesmanship to the American people; the American people are sold,” Obama said. “The American people are sold.”
Just how sold are the American people?
Obama believes that polls indicate an overwhelming majority of Americans take his “bipartisan” position on the issue.
“You have 80 percent of the American people who support a balanced approach,” Obama said. “Eighty percent of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem. The problem is members of Congress are dug in ideologically into various positions because they boxed themselves in with previous statements.”
Obama made similar suggestions regarding Republican voters, suggesting that they also favor tax increases as one part of a debt fix. (Aug. 2 no hard deadline on debt limit)
“The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. That’s not just Democrats; that’s the majority of Republicans. You’ve got a whole slew of Republican officials from previous administrations.”
TheDC searched for a poll with such numbers, but couldn’t find much to support Obama’s claims.
Obama may have been referring to the most recent Gallup poll, published Wednesday, which touched on the prospect of tax hikes.
While Gallup reported that 32 percent agree a budget deal should include both spending cuts and tax increases, this is nowhere near the “80 percent” Obama claimed Friday.
A significant majority of Americans do believe some combination of tax increases and spending cuts are appropriate, however. The poll found 69 percent think there should be a blend of the two approaches in the budget deal, but not in equal parts as the president is advocating.
A Rasmussen poll published Thursday finds only 34 percent of Americans want tax increases included in any emerging debt-ceiling legislation. (Dems afraid McConnell’s debt ceiling plan will make them look bad)
Thursday’s Quinnipiac poll showed similar findings. Sixty-seven percent said the agreement should include tax surges on corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
But a “clear majority of Republicans” aren’t jumping ship to the tax hike side either, at least according to the Gallup Poll.
Only 24 percent of Republicans believe budget-deal provisions should be divided equally between spending cuts and tax increases; 67 percent believe the deal should include “only” or “mostly” spending cuts.
Elliot Gaiser contributed to this report.