Obama: 'Time for compromise is now'

President Obama said Friday that despite "all the intrigue and all the drama" on Capitol Hill, he is confident Congress can get a deal to raise the debt ceiling before the Aug. 2 deadline.

Obama, who has stayed behind closed doors while Congress has engaged in internecine battles that have sent tremors through the markets, said again that he is open to proposals that would force more cuts in government spending.


"I'll support that if it's done in a smart and balanced way," he said.

The president's remarks Friday were much more positive and his tone more optimistic than a week ago, when he came to the White House room to chastise congressional leaders, saying "we have run out of time" in the debt negotiations.

But today's message was: "There are plenty of ways out of this mess."

He pressed for action from the Senate, calling on leaders there to come up with a compromise plan that could pass both chambers of Congress.

Pointing to measures from Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Biden hits one-year mark in dire straits 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team McConnell says he made 'inadvertent omission' in voting remarks amid backlash These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (R-Ky.), the president said there "are multiple ways to solve this problem."

The president's remarks come after the House postponed a Thursday vote on the GOP debt plan because it lacked the votes to pass.

Obama also echoed remarks he made Monday in his address to the nation, encouraging people to call their members of Congress. That action earlier this week led to a crash of congressional switchboards and websites.

But the president said Friday: "Make a phone call, send an email, tweet.

"Keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this."

The president made clear he was still opposed to any short-term measures that would have the U.S. "relive this crisis in just a few short months, holding our economy captive to Washington politics again."

Obama spoke of the threat of the country losing its triple-A credit rating, and the "inexcusable" and inevitable rise in interest rates that would follow "because we didn't have a triple-A political system to match our triple-A credit rating."

The president spoke of crises that are beyond the control of Washington, "hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist attacks."

"This isn't one of those crises," Obama said. "This is one burden we can lift ourselves. We can end it with a simple vote."

Watch Obama below.