Debt Limit Takes Back Seat to Obama’s Reelection Ambitions

Obama fears losing reelection more than default

Dan Spencer|

President Obama, fearing losing reelection more than default, threatens to veto any last-minute debt package from Congress unless it extends the nation’s borrowing limit beyond the 2012 elections.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told ABC’s “This Week” that Obama demands that any agreement to increase the debt ceiling extend beyond the 2012 elections.

Obama’s chief of staff, Bill Daley, confirmed the veto threat. Daley was asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if Obama would veto a plan that doesn’t extend the limit into 2013. Daley answered, “Yes.”

So a stubborn president Obama is willing to veto what by all accounts is the going to be the only viable option to meet his administration’s August 2 deadline for avoiding default so he doesn’t have to debate the issue during his reelection campaign.

Obama’s veto threats don’t sit well with Republicans.

Speaker John Boehner told Fox News Sunday that it is no longer “physically possible” to get everything done before the Treasury Department’s August 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling. Congress is now working on a two-stage debt-limit vote — in order to raise the debt ceiling immediately while tackling deficit-reduction later.

Boehner also criticized Obama for insisting that a debt ceiling deal be timed to last beyond the next election season: