White House officials said Friday evening that they were very close to getting a deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling before BoehnerJohn BoehnerHouse GOP faces dilemma on spending bills Overnight Finance: Puerto Rico bill clears panel | IRS chief vows to finish term | Bill would require nominees to release tax returns Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief fears sequestration's return MORE backed away.
“We were this close to settling” on an agreement, a White House aide said, holding his finger and thumb an inch apart.
In his Saturday message Obama once again said a "balanced approach to cutting the deficit" was needed.
"We need an approach that makes some serious cuts to worthy programs – cuts I wouldn’t make under normal circumstances – and we need an approach that asks everybody to do their part," he said.
"That’s the heart of this approach: serious cuts, balanced by some new revenues."