Republicans are already knocking down President Obama's proposal to raise taxes to pay for his community college plan, but White House Senior Adviser Dan Pfeiffer said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that "there are elements of our plan that Republicans have supported in the past."
For instance, House Republicans last year passed legislation that included a similar plan for higher education tax breaks. Also last year, the former chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee championed a plan for corporate tax reform that similarly included a fee on financial institutions.
Republicans "have a very different philosophy about how the economy works. But as I said, there are some ideas here in the middle we need to be able to agree on," Pfeiffer said. "A few years ago, people would've said we had no chance to get the Republicans to agree to raise taxes on the very wealthy, back to the levels they were under Bill Clinton. And we succeeded in doing that. So we're going to be push very hard."
Earlier on "Face the Nation," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said that Mr. Obama's plan conforms to an "outdated model" of the economy.
"The notion, first of all, that in order for some people to do better, someone has to do worse is just not true," he said. "Raising taxes on people that are successful is not going to make people that are struggling more successful."
Rubio said the higher education system should be reformed, while Mr. Obama's plan would just "pour that additional money into the broken, existing system."
Pfeiffer acknowledged the two parties would probably not going to agree on everything, but it shouldn't stop a debate from moving forward.
"I think we should have a debate in this country between middle class economics and trickle-down economics and see if we can come to an agreement on the things we do agree on," Pfeiffer said.