U.S. President Barack Obama

Speaking to reporters in the White House Press Briefing Room on Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama was asked by CNN’s chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin why he couldn’t bar the doors of congress and the senate until a deficit reduction deal was reached and the President responded by saying that he couldn’t use force to insist that congress “do the right thing.”

The President continued:

Jessica, I am not a dictator, I’m the president. Ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say we need to go to catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway.
 
I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington, and that somehow–even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal–the fact that they don’t take it means that somehow I should do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right.
 
But ultimately it’s a choice they make, and this idea that somehow there’s a secret formula or secret sauce to get speaker Boehner or Mitch McConnell to say ‘You know what Mr. President, you’re right’…I think if there was a secret way to do that, I would have tried it. I would have done it.

Obama said that the best he could do was “make the best possible case for why we need to do the right thing” and “speak to the American people about the consequences of the decisions that Congress is making or the lack of the decision-making by Congress.”

The President has come under closer scrutiny recently for his part in the current sequester debacle with Washington heavy hitters like Bob Woodward vocalizing dissent of his approach to the nation’s financial problems. President Obama and his democrat constituents in Washington assert that the problem is due to an uncooperative Republican led congress.