President Obama: 'Am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated'

Oct 2, 2013 3:32 PM

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he is “exasperated” by the government shutdown and warned Wall Street that the country is "in trouble."

"During the course of my presidency I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party and have purposely kept my rhetoric down," he said in an exclusive interview with CNBC three hours before he was set to meet with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House.

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I think I'm pretty well known for being a calm guy...sometimes people think I'm too calm. But am I exasperated? Absolutely I'm exasperated. Because this is entirely unnecessary."

Asked about Wall Street’s relatively calm reaction to the crisis in the nation’s capital, Obama said it was out of step with the reality of the situation.

“I think this time’s different,” he said of the current shutdown and impasse.

He noted he had just met with the Financial Services Forum, a group of high-profile business leaders and heads of major banks and warned them that while partisan disagreement is normal, they should be worried in this case.

"When you have a situation in which a faction is willing to potentially default on U.S. government obligations, then we are in trouble," he said.

"And if they’re willing to do it now, they’ll be willing to do it later.”

CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood's full interview with President Barack Obama airs on CNBC at 4pm Wednesday.


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