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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 26th, 2013
06:01 PM ET

Pfeiffer: White House is not ‘negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest’

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said a U.S. debt default could be catastrophic. But President Barack Obama said Thursday he will not "not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America." That is, no negotiating with Republicans.

Yet, the American people support, by a two-to-one margin, a requirement for spending cuts when negotiating more borrowing authority for the government to pay its bills, according to a new Bloomberg News poll.

The White House "is for cutting spending. We're for reforming our tax code, for reforming entitlements," said senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer.

"What we're not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest," he added.

House Republicans are not asking for a negotiation, but rather demanding a hefty ransom, said Pfeiffer.

"It is not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, 'Give me everything inside or I'm going to burn it down.' The Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands," he noted.

But when Obama was a senator, he voted against raising the debt ceiling.

"What he did not do is say, 'Give me X, give me 100 percent of what I want, or we are going to default.' That changed in 2011 with the House Republicans," said Pfeiffer.

There is a crisis in Washington right now, and Pfeiffer said the president shares no blame, saying 100% of the blame belongs on the other side of the aisle.

"I believe the House Republicans are entirely responsible," said Pfeiffer.

For more of our interview with Dan Pfeiffer, including whether the president's health law – so-called Obamacare – is ready for implementation, check out the video below, or click here.

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