In a taped interview on CBS' "Face the Nation," Obama said he was still willing to seek further spending reductions that would placate GOP leaders who have savaged him in the election campaign.
"There are still ways that we can make it leaner and more efficient," said Obama. "So I'm, you know, more than happy to work with the Republicans."
Obama stuck largely to his previous pledges to cut spending as long as revenues are enhanced so that government receives the resources needed to remain efficient.
Obama claimed Mitt Romney was refusing to make any kind of a deal. "You can't reduce the deficit unless you take a balanced approach," he said.
Senior Obama adviser David Plouffe followed up by telling CBS the Republicans were "the barrier to solving our fiscal challenges. "Too many refuse to ask anything of the very wealthy," Plouffe said. "They want to put all of the burden on the middle class, all the burden on seniors, and that's not the right way forward for our country."
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan countered the White House and congressional Democrats were dragging their feet on taking meaningful steps on spending. "We wanted to have a bipartisan agreement. We got that. And the president hasn't fulfilled his end of the bipartisan agreement," he said.