Former President Clinton broke with President Obama on extending the Bush-era tax cuts, saying on Tuesday that they should be renewed temporarily in the current economic climate, according to Politico.
Speaking on CNBC, Clinton said, "That's probably the best thing to do right now." He added, "But the Republicans don't want to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper income people. And I don't think the president should do that."
The tax cuts, which were passed in 2001 and 2003, will expire early next year and Democrats want to extend them for everyone except the wealthy while the Republicans want them renewed across the board.
Aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to questions about Clinton's comments on Wednesday, saying, "President Obama has been clear about his position and it has not changed," according to Reuters. He added, "We should not extend and he will not extend the ... Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of the American people."
Carney said, "There is no daylight between President Clinton and President Obama," responding to Republican efforts to frame Clinton's comments as supportive of the tax cuts, according to MSNBC.
Clinton's office also released a statement saying: "President Clinton has said many times before, he supported extending all of the cuts in 2010 as part of the budget agreement, but does not believe the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended again. In the interview, he simply said that he doubted that a long-term agreement on spending cuts and revenues would be reached until after the election," according to MSNBC.
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According to the Congressional Budget Office, the expiration of the tax cuts and $1.2 trillion in spending cuts coming into effect in January could potentially spark another recession, said the Associated Press.
On Tuesday, Clinton said, "What I think we need to do is to find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what’s necessary in the long-term debt-reduction plan as soon as they can, which presumably will be after the election," on CNBC, according to the AP.
Last week, Clinton drew some attention when he praised Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital - which has become a target for the Obama campaign - as a "sterling business career," on CNN.
Clinton also visited Wisconsin to campaign for Tom Barrett in the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker, an issue that Obama noticeably avoided. Walker won Tuesday's vote, with some analysts saying the election was a harbinger for what was to come in November during the presidential elections.
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On Monday, Obama and Clinton appeared together to fundraise in New York, reprising their efforts in April which raised $2.1 million for the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to CNN.
In an effort to backtrack on his Romney comments, Clinton said on Monday that Romney winning the election would be "calamitous" for the US, declaring that Obama had earned a second term, according to The New York Times.
Clinton said of Obama: "He’s got good policies. He’s got a good record. He’s made the best of a very challenging situation. He deserves to be re-elected."
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