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Rubio: Obama ‘demonized’ opponents during fiscal fight

“The president spoke about the divisive language in American politics. He's one of the leading causes of it,” Rubio said on Fox News’s “Happening Now.” “We’ve just seen, for three weeks, they have outright demonized anyone who disagrees with their position using a level of vitriol and descriptive terms, negative descriptive terms, against their political opponents.”

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In his speech Thursday, Obama lectured GOP lawmakers for playing political brinksmanship with the nation’s economy.

Republicans shut down the government for more than two weeks as part of an effort to repeal and defund ObamaCare, but the president said he wouldn’t pay “ransom” for something that is Congress’s duty. Ultimately Obama won and Republicans blinked as the nation was hours from defaulting on its debts.

Congress passed a deal Wednesday that ended the shutdown, funds the government through Jan. 15 and raises the debt ceiling until Feb. 7. It also required a budget conference between the House and Senate that has to report back by Dec. 13. The only concession on ObamaCare was stricter income verification for recipients of healthcare subsidies — something the administration said it wanted anyway.

Republicans are expected to demand entitlement cuts during the budget committee conference. But Rubio said Obama is unlikely to agree to any cuts because of the “radical left-wing” within the Democratic Party.

“The President correctly points out the drivers of the long term debt are Medicare and Social Security. But he's virtually against any idea to fix those things because the radical left-wing base of his own party refuses to consider any structural reforms to those programs,” Rubio said. “And they accuse anyone who’s in favor of making those types of changes as being anti-senior, being anti-elderly.”