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Obama: ‘Happy to work’ with Republicans

President Obama says he is “more than happy to work with Republicans” on a deal to reduce the deficit after the election, even as political fighting continues over the last deal reached more than a year ago.

In excerpts of an interview aired Sunday on CBS's “Face the Nation,” Obama said that the election would help sort out the fight over taxes and revenue that’s intensified between the two parties since a “grand bargain” fell through last year.

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CBS's Scott Pelley asked Obama if he could achieve a grand bargain after the election, and the president said he would work with Republicans to find more government spending to cut, so long as revenue was also part of the equation.

“What I’ve said in reducing our deficits — we can make sure that we cut 2.5 dollars for every dollar of increased revenue,” Obama said.

“That’s the deal they turned down,” Pelley interjected.

“That’s part of what this election is about,” Obama responded. “Gov. Romney said he wouldn’t take a deal for $10 in spending cuts for $1 of revenue increases. The problem is the math — or the arithmetic as President Clinton said — doesn’t add up.”

The dispute over taxes will take front-and-center stage after the election as lawmakers work to find a solution to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” the combination of expiring Bush-era tax rates and $1 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts which would take effect at the start of 2013.

Obama also cited former President Bill Clinton, who spoke at last week's Democratic convention, to back his argument to raise tax rates on those making more than $250,000 by allowing the Bush rates to expire.

“If we go back to the rates we had under Bill Clinton, we can close the deficit stabilize the economy, and keep taxes on the middle class low,” Obama said.

Republicans though are in favor of extending the Bush rates for all tax brackets, saying that Obama's proposal would hurt small businesses and weaken job growth. 

Obama's calls for Republicans to meet him again at the negotiating table though were met with skepticism by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

"I have been more than happy to work with him, but he hasn’t been acting like that," said the GOP vice presidential nominee, when asked to respond to Obama's comments.

"He says one thing and does another," said Ryan.

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