Obama pits public against politicians

Lawmakers have "a responsibility and an opportunity" to do the right thing by agreeing to a debt-limit hike and cutting spending, President Obama said Saturday.

"Let’s be honest – neither party in this town is blameless; both have talked this problem to death without doing enough about it," Obama said in his weekly address. "That’s what drives people nuts about Washington. Too often, it’s a place more concerned with playing politics and serving special interests than resolving real problems or focusing on what you’re facing in your own lives."

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The taped weekend message is the president's second claim to popular support in two days. In a Friday news conference, Obama blasted Republicans for ignoring what he said is the will of the American people by rejecting tax increases that would balance out spending cuts in a debt package.

On Saturday, he reiterated his call for a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction. 

"The truth is, you can’t solve our deficit without cutting spending," Obama said. "But you also can’t solve it without asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share – or without taking on loopholes that give special interests and big corporations tax breaks that middle-class Americans don’t get."

Republicans have said they will not accept any deal to raise the debt limit that raised taxes. 

House Republican leaders have thrown their support behind the "Cut, Cap and Balance" plan that conservatives are demanding in return for an increase in the federal debt ceiling. 

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) used his party's weekly address to urge lawmakers to back a balanced budget amendment, calling it the only way to get federal spending under control.