Rep. Cummings: On debt-ceiling increase, Obama needs to take 'bully pulpit' around the country

The president should continue to hammer Republicans like he did at a press conference on Wednesday, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said.

"I want the president to do what he did the other day," Cummings said Friday on MSNBC. "I know that some complained that he was a little too hard on the Congress but I think he has to do what he said he would do throughout his campaign."

Obama strongly chastised Republicans at his press conference Wednesday for not wanting to raise taxes on the rich, refusing to agree to end tax subsidies for big oil companies, and accusing him of not leading on negotiations on finding a compromise on raising the debt-ceiling. Obama also criticized Republicans for claiming that the Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling was fictional.

"'The president said 'I will not tell you what you want to hear, I will tell you what you need to hear' and I think he needs to take that bully pulpit and move around the country doing whatever he has to do to try to make sure that the American people understand how urgent the situation is," Cummings said.

On Wednesday Obama scolded Republicans for refusing to agree to any kind of tax increases as part of any kind of debt-ceiling deal. He said Republicans should join him in pushing to raise taxes for the wealthiest Americans and close tax subsidy loopholes for oil-and-gas companies.

In response, Republicans have harshly criticized Obama's comments.

“The president is sorely mistaken if he believes a bill to raise the debt ceiling and raise taxes would pass the House,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement on Wednesday.

But, like Cummings, other Democrats have praised Obama's performance at the presser and urged him to repeat it.

“Bravo!” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Wednesday. “This is the fight House Democrats have been making for the last six months under the Republican majority as they move to end Medicare and continue tax breaks for Big Oil."

Cummings echoed Pelosi's statement.

"I thought he made a good case the other day with regard to the tax cuts for the rich at the expense of Medicare and programs of that nature as we know them," the lawmaker said.

Cummings said he understood that "some feelings may have been hurt" but that it was important to finalize a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline.