In 2006, then-freshman Sen. Barack Obama led a Senate to prevent raising the debt ceiling, calling the need to do so a "leadership failure."
In the current battle, Obama sits in the White House and finds himself on the other side of the debate. He has accused Republicans of trying to "extort" him by tying defunding of his signature healthcare law to the debt ceiling.
"I have to defend him on this," GOP operative Karl Rove said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record." "He was not trying to extort, he was trying to end the war."
Obama had failed at trying to stop the Iraq war with up-down votes, Rove told host Greta Van Susteren, so he tried to do it by defunding it. That's the same thing some Republicans are trying to do now, Rove said.
If Obama wants the debt ceiling raised for the next year, he should offset it with spending reductions in entitlement spending over the next decade, Rove said. "And that's an entirely reasonable formula which the president has already agreed to in a previous debt ceiling vote."
Rove made the comments on the same day he wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal
calling the GOP strategy "self-defeating." Despite his criticism of Obama, he stuck with that assessment, saying that Sen. Ted Cruz's vow to filibuster if necessary could end up having him filibustering the very bill he wants to get passed.
For his part, Obama explained his change of heart on debt ceilings in an April 2011 appearance on "Good Morning America"
in which he said his earlier vote was something he did for political reasons, as a young member of the Senate. As president, he said, "you start realizing, you know what, we can't play around with this stuff."
See the video below:
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