By Ian Swanson
Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerConservative allies on opposite sides in GOP primary fight Clinton maps out first 100 days The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE's failure to move his "Plan B" tax bill through the House was "an embarrassment," Obama chief political strategist David Axelrod said Friday.
"They went from 'Plan B' to 'Plan see you later,' " Axelrod quipped during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
The failure to approve the bill has prompted questions about the future of Boehner's Speakership and handed significant leverage to President Obama in talks regarding the so-called "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes set to be triggered in January.
Axelrod, pointing to comments earlier in the day Thursday by Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorThree strategies to help Clinton build 'Team of Teams' David Brat may run for Senate if Kaine becomes VP The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (R-Va.), said GOP leaders were confident they had the votes for legislation Senate Democrats said they would refuse to pick up and President Obama warned he would veto.
"But the fact that they couldn't even pass that was an embarrassment. This is the longest day of the year, and certainly true for John Boehner — I'm sure he's scratching his head right now," Axelrod said.
Boehner said Thursday that averting the fiscal cliff is now up to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSuper-PAC targets Portman on trade Dem leader urges compromise on FCC set-top box plan Senate Dems introduce Iran sanctions extension MORE (D-Nev.).
But Axelrod said Republicans will still need to work with Democrats.
"The bottom line is we need to fashion a plan — the president's offered one — where you can get bipartisan support and move forward. This shouldn't be about caucus politics; this should be about solving a big problem for the country."