In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Obama On Tax Cuts Deal: I'd 'Stick To My Guns' ... 'If There Was Not Collateral Damage' (VIDEO)

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Later on, Chuck Todd asked Obama how he would respond to Democratic criticism that he was rewarding the Republican strategy of intransigence.

"I've said before that I felt that the middle-class tax cuts were being held hostage to the high-end tax cuts," Obama answered. "I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers -- unless the hostage gets harmed. Then, people will question the wisdom of that strategy. In this case, the hostage was the American people, and I was not willing to see them get harmed.'

Watch: