CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: I suspect a bait and switch on the part of the Obama administration. Obama was quite clear on Tuesday when he said he had been demanding up until now, you give me a one year extension on the debt or I'm not going to talk. Boehner said all I want to do is talk. So the president offered him and off ramp in which he said, 'Well, I will accept any length of extension. Meaning, I'll extend just a technical one, a short one, a couple of weeks.'
And that offer to compromise, so he could start negotiations. He gets a debt ceiling increase so he can say, 'well, now I can talk.' Boehner is able to engage in negotiations with what would be a trivial extension, whether the debt ceiling is next week, or three weeks is irrelevant. And that seemed to be the basis. And today, Carney reiterated that obvious offer. He was asked will the president sign a short-term raising of the debt limit even if he doesn't get a clean C.R., i.e. an opening up of the government. And the answer was yes.
So, Boehner has his offer, he goes in to see the president. You would expect that you would then have six week extension and discuss all issues. What seems to have happened is that now there are demands from the president on the reopening of the government, which was not what they said earlier in the week, which is why I think they're stuck now. And I think the Republicans ought to stand fast on this. We're offering you six weeks, we're offering an opportunity for real negotiations on debt reduction and all kinds of other stuff. Eminently reasonable and I hope they don't budge on this because otherwise it is, I think, the president contradicting himself.