Live video (earlier post):
Update: Chuck Todd asks whether Obama caved to the GOP. Obama: "I think it's tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers...unless the hostage gets harmed." Obama argued that if tax cuts expired, which he says would have happened without caving to GOP, the American public would have been harmed. Obama says the problem isn't that he had failed to convince the American public of his position, but rather that the GOP's top priority is tax cuts for the wealthy and that they were unwilling to cave. Obama argues that the temporary extension gives him the time he needs to win the fight the next time around. Todd asks follow up, whether Obama's deal telegraphs the best way to negotiate with him. Obama says no, and that he's happy to have Republicans test him to see if he's willing to fight -- as long as the public doesn't get hurt.
Update: Sign the petition to stop the Obama-GOP tax cut deal.
Update: Strange variation on Chuck Todd's question -- how is this different than the South Korea trade deal. Short answer: middle-class taxes weren't at stake in that deal. Follow-up: will there be discussion about broader tax-code overhaul over the next two years. Short answer: yes. Pres. Obama also said things like infrastructure, education, and fiscal security are going to be part of the debate. He also said he has no idea how Republicans will be able to convince Americans that tax cuts for wealthy should be extended when they expired. Of course, as he already said today, what the American public wants doesn't matter if Republicans can hold them hostage.
Update: Ambinder asks about what these negotiations say for the upcoming debt limit vote. Obama says he takes John Boehner at his word that Boehner doesn't want to put at risk the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and that he's confidence that he can reach a deal to keep government open.
Update: In the final question, Jonathan Weismann asks (a) what Obama would say to Democrats about what his core convictions, lines in the sand are (b) what's going to be different in 2012 about the tax cut fight. On the second question, Obama makes the same basic arguments that he's been making for the past several years about tax cuts, though to no avail, and says that in 2012 the arguments will finally prevail. On the first question point he says "I've got a whole bunch of lines in the sand...not making the tax cuts for the wealthy permanent." He also said extending middle-class tax cuts was a line in the sand (though truth be told, he had previously fought for permanent extension of middle-class cuts -- something he didn't get). Obama then compares his tax cut deal to the passage of health care reform, expressing his irritation that Democrats saw both as weakness. He said his critics are "sanctimonious" if they are unwilling to compromise on things like the tax cuts. "The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across" the entire country. Compromise is necessary to move things forward -- without compromise we'll never get anywhere. Over the last two years, he says, we've moved forward. "There's not a single thing" that he promised in the campaign that he hasn't done or tried to do as President.
Update: And the press conference is over. Midday open thread going up soon, keep taling here or in there.