The president was responding to a question about why he hadn't locked the leaders into a room to get a deal. "So ultimately if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, 'I have to catch a plane,' I can't have Secret Service block the doorway," he said.
Obama met with Republican leaders Sen. McConnell (Ky.) and Speaker Boehner (Ohio) before the press conference. He has been criticized by Republicans for not doing more to try to reach a deal. GOP leaders say he has been more interested in blaming Republicans for the $85 billion in automatic cuts set to be triggered on Friday than in crafting a deal.