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No more Mr. Nice Guy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- This time, President Barack Obama says, he's not budging. This is the confrontational Obama, the "Make my day" president, betting Republicans blink to avoid a government shutdown or a first-ever default of the nation's debts.

It's a proposition not without risk and one with a history of last-minute accommodations on both sides. Brinkmanship between Obama and congressional Republicans has often stopped at the precipice's edge.

In this round, however, the president and his aides maintain that when it comes to raising the government's borrowing authority and meeting its debt obligations, there's no bargaining.

"The entire world looks to us to make sure that the world economy is stable. You don't mess with that," Obama said Thursday. "And that's why I will not negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America."

Still, House Speaker John Boehner says a debt hike must be linked to budget cuts and other programmatic changes.

"The president says, `I'm not going to negotiate,'" Boehner said. "Well, I'm sorry, but it just doesn't work that way."

Obama's stance is rooted in experience, politics and a desire to protect himself from similar demands in the remaining three years of his presidency.

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