Axelrod: Boehner's 'Plan B' failure an 'embarrassment'

Speaker John Boehner'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."

In the face of a revolt within his conference, Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday canceled a vote on his legislation, which would have extended current tax rates on annual income below $1 million while allowing rates above that threshold to rise.

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 Cantor (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 Reid (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."

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