Republicans don't have any choice but to raise the debt ceiling, even if they win the kinds of spending cuts they've sought, a top White House adviser said Saturday.

Outgoing White House senior adviser David Axelrod said that even if President Obama were to agree to every cut the GOP-led House has proposed, it wouldn't change the fact that lawmakers would have to raise the debt ceiling.

"Let’s be clear: If we made every cut - and they haven’t been specific - but the size of cuts the Republicans are talking about, you’d forestall the need to lift the debt ceiling by 15 days," Axelrod told Bloomberg Television's "Political Capital" in an episode to air over the weekend.

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Republicans in the House have proposed cutting spending back to 2008 levels, lower than what Obama had called for in his State of the Union address this past weekend. The president argued for a five-year freeze on domestic discretionary spending in that speech.

GOP leaders rejected that proposal as inadequate, and have sought to link together spending cuts and the vote to raise the debt ceiling as a single political issue. Republicans, goaded by the conservative Tea Party members in their own party, have threatened not to raise the debt ceiling -- the legal amount the U.S. government can borrow to finance its debt -- unless serious spending cuts are achieved.

But the administration has been active in warning lawmakers against playing politics with the vote.

"If we hit the debt ceiling, that's ... essentially defaulting on our obligations, which is totally unprecedented in American history," said Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers earlier this month. "The impact on the economy would be catastrophic."

"Let’s be serious about this," Axelrod said of the Republicans. "At the end of the day I expect people to act responsibly and understand that we’re not going to play politics with the full faith and credit of the United States of America."