President Barack Obama was caught on an open mic making some blunt and intriguing remarks about the actions of Republicans in recent budget negotiations that produced a deal to avert a government shutdown at a fundraiser in Chicago on Thursday, CBS News reports.
In audio relayed by the network, the president can be heard addressing unsuccessful Republican maneuvering to roll back portions of health care reform, as well as restrict Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding, in reaching an agreement.
"I said, 'You want to repeal health care?'" Obama revealed at the private event. "Go at it. We'll have that debate. You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?'"
Ultimately, the resolutions pushed by Republicans targeting what may be the president's most significant legislative accomplishment to date and the women's health service provider failed to advance with the larger budget deal.
"Put it in a separate bill," the president said he told House Speaker John Boehner and members of his staff. "We'll call it up. And if you think you can overturn my veto, try it. But don't try to sneak this through."
CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller heard Obama's remarks, which the president perhaps did not realize were being relayed by the microphone he was using to the White House press room on an audio feed.