CBS NEWS: Pres. Obama Signals Wiggle Room In “Fiscal Cliff” Talks (VIDEO)

Source: Leigh Ann Caldwell / CBS News

In his first television interview since his re-election, President Obama pushed his proposal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” but also signaled that he is open to some movement on some key components of his proposal, including raising taxes on the wealthy.

Although Mr. Obama told Bloomberg TV a deal is not possible without an increase to the tax rate for those making over $250,000, he would not answer specifically when asked if the rate on the wealthy must increase from the current 35 percent to the pre-Bush rate of 39.6 percent, signaling there may be wiggle room on how much of a hike he’ll demand.

“I’m prepared to make some tough decisions,” Mr. Obama said. However, he reaffirmed that no matter what, the tax rate on the wealthy must go up. “We’re not going to be able to get a deal without it.”

When asked for clarification, White House spokesperson Jay Carney said “rates have to go up,” but spoke in a similar line as his boss by refusing to draw a line in the sand over the percentage. He said the Republicans have yet to offer a proposal that would raise tax rates on the wealthy.

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