Nightly News | April 15, 2011
>>> to politics now. in washington president obama 's re- election campaign got under way last night with three separate fund-raisers in his hometown of chicago. during one of those events, a microphone he assumed was off was instead left on, and it revealed some combative remarks about the budget fight. white house correspondent savannah guthrie on the job on this friday night has that story. savannah, good evening.
>> reporter: good evening, brian. the president's spokesman says the president is not embarrassed. there's nothing on those recordings he couldn't say publicly. but for a president that so carefully measures his word, it provided for some revealing moments. the candidate president back from a triple-header of campaign fund-raisers last night in chicago.
>> that's what this campaign is about.
>> reporter: taking questioning at a private fund-raiser, the president was caught on a microphone he did not know was recording, talking about last week's budget negotiations with republicans.
>> i said, you want to repeal health care ? go at it. we'll have that debate. you're not going to be able to do that by nickel and diming me in the budget. you think we're stupid?
>> reporter: the president also aimed fire at republican congressman paul ryan , whose 2012 budget proposal the president ripped on wednesday.
>> this is the same guy who voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the bush tax cuts that were unpaid for.
>> reporter: on capitol hill , house republicans passed ryan's budget plan. it cut $6 trillion from the deficit over the next decade in part by raising the eligibility age of future medicare recipients. the lubudget likely won't pass the senate but republicans are taking a stand.
>> we have a president who is unwilling to lead. we have too many politicians worried about the next election and not worried about the next generation.
>> reporter: republicans are also drawing battle lines over a vote to raise how much the u.s. can borrow.
>> there will be no debt limit increase unless it's accompanied by serious spending cuts and real budget reforms.
>> reporter: in an interview with the a.p., the president wander failure to raise the limit will devastate the economy.
>> he's absolutely right that it's not going to happen without some spending cuts. i'm confident we're going to raise the debt limit. we always have. we will do it again.
>> reporter: well, the white house says the president still would prefer congress to raise the debt limit without putting conditions on that vote. the fear is that even the threat of a default on u.s. obligations would have severe consequences for the economy, brian.
>> savannah guthrie at the white house for us tonight. savannah, thanks. later on we'll have something else the president said that he didn't know was being recorded.