White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that the proposal for $1.6 trillion in tax revenue was presented in context of a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction throughout the campaign.
"This is the way that we can ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more to deal with our deficit challenges," Earnest said aboard Air Force One as Obama flew to Pennsylvania.
"This was what the president has campaigned on for a long time and that was what president pushed for in context of the discussions with House Republicans," Earnest said.
Earnest said the proposal laid out by Geithner should not come as a surprise to anyone. Referring to comments by House Republican staffers who expressed surprise at Geithner's proposal, Earnest said, "This morning I was surprised they were surprised."
Associated Press writers David Espo, Andrew Taylor and Ken Thomas contributed to this report.
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