WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama says he's ready and eager to engage Republicans in arguments over how to reinvigorate the economy.
But at the same time, he tells a town fall forum he thinks it's "premature to say that John Boehner (BAY'-nur) is going to be speaker of the House."
Obama was asked at a CNBC forum if he would engage Boehner, the Ohio Republican, in a debate as President Bill Clinton had done with then-GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich some 15 years ago. He didn't answer directly.
The president said the fundamental Republican argument "is that if we go back to what we were doing before the financial crisis and before I was president, that we'd be in a better place."
He said he thinks continually about the people who "sent me into this job."