Payroll tax break must be extended, the president said in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Failing to renew the payroll tax cut would hurt middle-class families, he argued.
Jose Luis Magana/AP
President Barack Obama warned Tuesday a failure to extend a payroll tax break would hurt middle-class families, effectively daring congressional Republicans to increase taxes a year before the presidential election.
Speaking in the state that is home to the nation's first presidential primary, Obama sought to steal the spotlight from Republican presidential contenders who have blanketed the political battleground with anti-Obama messages.
"Don't be a Grinch. Don't vote to raise taxes on working Americans during the holidays," Obama said at a high school gymnasium.
Even as he sought to draw a bright line with Republicans over taxes, Obama was reminded about the unhappiness among some in the Occupy Wall Street movement. As he began to speak, Obama was briefly interrupted by protesters who chanted, "Mr. President — over 4,000 protesters, over 4,000 protesters, have been arrested."
Obama paused to let the demonstrators speak. "No, no, no. That's OK," Obama said. The crowd then sought to drown out the protesters with chants of "Obama!"