Obama says he’s been fair in fiscal talks

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President Barack Obama gestures during a statement on the fiscal cliff negotiations with congressional leaders in the briefing room of the White House on Friday, Dec. 28, 2012 in Washington. The negotiations are a last ditch effort to avoid across-the-board first of the year tax increases and deep spending cuts. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama is applying pressure on Republican leaders to negotiate a fiscal deal, arguing that they have rejected his past attempts to strike a bigger and more comprehensive bargain.

Obama says his offers to Republicans “have been so fair that a lot of Democrats get mad at me.” He cited a proposal he made to House Speaker John Boehner to reduce cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries.

Obama made his remarks during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” TV news show that aired Sunday. Obama granted the interview as the Senate’s Democratic and Republican leaders worked to cut a scaled-back bargain to avoid automatic tax increases on nearly all Americans.

He says Republicans have “had trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers.”

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