White House press secretary Robert Gibbs restated Tuesday that President Obama does not want to extend expiring tax cuts for the high-income earners after a former adviser recommended the opposite earlier in the day.

Former Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag wrote in his New York Times column Tuesday that all of the cuts should be extended for two years, then done away with entirely.

"Our viewpoint on this is that we should and must pass legislation that extends the tax cuts for middle-class families," Gibbs said at his daily press briefing. "But we cannot afford in this environment — in this budgetary and fiscal environment, to extend the tax cuts for those making more than $2500,000 a year."

Gibbs shined little light on questions surrounding Orszag's tenure as OMB director, specifically whether or not he was a frequent dissenter in the administration. 

"I wouldn't want to generalize about anyone here," he said. "I think probably like a number of people who work here ... people have opinions that may or may not have opinions that vary with people in the room."

It's "hard to put anyone in a box" regarding two years of service, Gibbs said, adding that like other members of the administration, "Peter has, depending on the issue, has had varying opinions on what to do when."

Gibbs said that the White House did not see Orszag's column before it appeared in the Times Tuesday. He also said he does not recall Orszag making the argument during past meetings, but that he could have made them.

"I did not hear him make this argument. He may have made this argument in some meetings," Gibbs said.