Obama: "Courage" required for tough choices

WASHINGTON - It was President Obama who first suggested all the leaders meet every day until a deal is reached on the debt ceiling.

Before the meeting yesterday, CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley spoke with Mr. Obama at the White House, about what goes on behind closed doors and what's at stake for the nation.

Mr. Obama: The consequences of a default would mean, at minimum, that interest rates would go up for everybody. For the person who's borrowing-- to buy a car, for the small business owner. For the person on- who's borrowing on the credit card. The person who's paying their mortgage, or wants to buy a new home. Everybody's interest rates will go up.

(Scroll down to see Obama's comments on Rep. Boehner, and Syria)


Tell me about these meetings that you're having. Have there been raised voices? Tense moments?

VIDEO: Obama "cannot guarantee" Social Security checks

Mr. Obama:

Well, I think everybody-- has been professional, and everybody's been polite. But I think that what we haven't seen is a recognition that at a certain point you leave politics aside. You set aside what gives you a tactical advantage at any given moment.

You leave out your ideological predispositions, and you just try to figure out a problem.

And the question is why wouldn't we try to solve it right now? And I think the vast majority of people across the country, are looking to Washington to see if we can finally do something - that we say is important, that people agree is important - but requires some courage, and-- and some tough choices.

Watch below: Obama thinks Boehner "would like to do the right thing"

Obama on Boehner

Watch Below: Obama's tough words for Syrian regime

Obama pressuring for change in Syria
  • Scott Pelley

    Correspondent, "60 Minutes"