At a press conference Tuesday, President Obama was asked why his budget did not incorporate many of the recommendations of his bipartisan fiscal commission. The reporter said the commission's proposals had effectively been shelved.
The president answered by stating, first, that the proposals had not been shelved - arguing that the commission's plan "still provides a framework for a conversation." He then criticized the reporters in attendance for their lack of patience.
"Now, part of the challenge here is that this town -- let's face it, you guys are pretty impatient," he said. "If something doesn't happen today, then the assumption is it's just not going to happen, all right?"
"I've had this conversation for the last two years about every single issue that we've worked on, whether it was health care or 'don't ask/don't tell,'" he continued, his tone expressing frustration. "On Egypt -- right? -- we've had this monumental change over the last three weeks. Well, why didn't -- why did it take three weeks?"
Mr. Obama said "there's a tendency for us to assume that if it didn't happen today, it's not going to happen."
Turning back to the fiscal commission, he said that while it got eleven votes and some Republican support, GOP budget guru Paul Ryan did not sign on - and "he's got a little bit of juice when it comes to trying to get an eventual budget done." Mr. Obama also said there were aspects of the commission proposal that he did not agree with.
"So this is going to be a process in which each side, in both chambers of Congress, go back and forth and start trying to whittle their differences down, until we arrive at something that has an actual chance of passage," he said. "And that's my goal. I mean, my goal here is to actually solve the problem."
The president then returned to his media criticism, stating the process is "not to get a good headline on the first day."
"This was the same criticism people had right after the mid-term election," he said. "If you had polled the press room and the conventional wisdom in Washington after the midterm, the assumption was there's no way we were going to end up getting a tax deal that got the majority of both Democrats and Republicans. It was impossible, right? And we got it done."