WASHINGTON — President Obama is predicting that he will reach agreement with lawmakers to reduce the deficit within the first year of a second term if he’s reelected.
The president made the promise in an interview with The Des Moines Register. The interview was off the record, but Obama’s campaign agreed to release a transcript under pressure from the newspaper.
Without ever saying so, by his comments Obama sought to undercut Romney’s oft-repeated assertions that he had worked successfully with Democrats while governor of Massachusetts and would do so again in the White House.
The president said he is ‘‘absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain’’ on the federal budget that he and Republicans futilely pursued in 2011, including $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in higher revenue, with steps to reduce the costs of health care programs.
‘‘We can credibly meet the target the Bowles-Simpson Commission established of $4 trillion in deficit reduction’’ over a decade, he said.
Efforts to agree on a sweeping deficit-cutting deal with House Speaker John Boehner more than a year ago fell apart when liberals resisted measures Obama had accepted, including a gradual increase in the age of eligibility for Medicare to 67 from 65, and conservatives balked at the speaker’s willingness to include higher tax revenue in any agreement. — ASSOCIATED PRESS
Romney testimony in divorce case may be released
CANTON — Mitt Romney’s 1991 testimony in the divorce of Staples founder Tom Stemberg will be considered for public release on Thursday in open court and with television cameras rolling at Norfolk Probate and Family Court.
On Wednesday, the court rejected Stemberg’s request to close the hearing, siding with The Boston Globe, which is seeking access to the impounded testimony of Romney, now the Republican nominee for president.
Stemberg’s former wife, Maureen Sullivan Stemberg, appeared in court Wednesday and supported the release of Romney’s testimony. Robert G. Jones, an attorney for Romney, said the candidate has no position on whether his testimony should be unsealed.
Gloria Allred, an attorney for Sullivan Stemberg, produced two, inch-thick volumes of testimony Romney delivered during the divorce proceedings two decades ago.
Attorneys for Stemberg, Staples, and Romney were granted a continuance review the testimony.
All documents in the divorce case were impounded, and all parties signed a confidentiality agreement that prevents them from discussing details of the case with the press. The Globe is seeking only Romney’s testimony, which he delivered in June 1991.
At the time of the divorce, Romney was the owner and chief executive of Bain Capital, a private equity firm that invested $650,000 in Staples to help the office supply company open its first store in Brighton in 1986. In total, Bain Capital invested about $2.5 million in Staples and reaped a $13 million profit when the company went public in 1989. — CALLUM BORCHERS
Trump offers $5m to Obama
NEW YORK — Donald Trump wants to make a deal with President Obama.
If Obama releases his college and passport records by the end of October, the real estate mogul and reality show host says he will contribute $5 million to a charity of the president’s choice.
Trump, a Mitt Romney supporter, made the offer Wednesday. He called Obama ‘‘the least transparent president in the history of this country.’’
Trump drew broad publicity last year for questioning whether Obama was born in the United States and eligible to be president.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki declined to comment on the Trump offer. — ASSOCIATED PRESS