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Well, that didn't take long.
One day after wild-card surrogate Bill Clinton used a trio of fundraisers to seemingly make amends for his "sterling" departure from the Obama campaign's company line, the former president appeared to go back off message Tuesday when he suggested in an interview with CNBC that Congress should extend the Bush tax cuts and other expiring tax breaks for another year, something that Obama opposes.
Clinton's office later issued a statement walking back those comments and clarifying that "he simply said that he doubted that a long-term agreement on spending cuts and revenues would be reached until after the election." But it appears as though by then he'd already hit a nerve with Team Obama.
Asked at Wednesday's press briefing whether Obama might support such a temporary extension, White House spokesperson Jay Carney responded: "He will not. Could I be more clear?"
Here's the the original quotes from the interview that got Clinton in trouble: "What I think we need to do is find some way to avoid the fiscal cliff, to avoid doing anything that would contract the economy now, and then deal with what's necessary in the long term debt-reduction plans as soon as they can, which presumably would be after the election." He added that Congress should extend the tax cuts temporarily, saying that, "That's probably the best thing to do right now. But the Republicans don't want to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently, including for upper income people, and I don't think the president should do that."
As USA Today reminds us, Obama prefers an extension only for middle-class Americans. The disagreement between the two Democrats seems tactical at best—Clinton said in the interview that he supports the president's proposed Buffett Rule and does not ultimately support the extension of tax cuts for the wealthy. But Clinton doubts that an agreement will be reached before the tax cuts expire at the end of the year.