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White House 'surprised' by GOP 'surprise'

Republicans should not be surprised at the fiscal proposal they received from the White House last night, White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, as President Barack Obama has been highlighting the same position on the campaign trail for the past year.

“I was surprised that they were surprised,” Earnest told reporters traveling on Air Force One for the president’s trip to Hatfield, Pa., where he’ll talk about his tax and budget priorities.

Recommended: Obama proposal sends a message to Republicans

Thursday night, Republicans called the White House’s proposal, submitted by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, “a complete break from reality,” citing the White House’s starting line of $1.6 trillion in additional revenue, which they say is twice as much as what was on the table in 2011.

Earnest said figure reflects the goals of higher taxes on the wealthy that the president articulated on the campaign trail.

“The marker that was presented in the context of the balanced approach deficit reduction the president advocated in the campaign was $1.6 trillion in tax revenue,” he said.