Liberal economists and activists were responding to comments senior White House adviser David Axelrod made to the Huffington Post, which reported that Mr. Axelrod said the administration was ready to accept a temporary extension of all such tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of the year.
Mr. Obama favors making tax cuts that went to the middle class permanent and ending the ones for individuals earning $200,000 a year and families earning more than $250,000. Republicans want to extend the cuts for all taxpayers.
The story on the Huffington Post website carried the headline, "White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts," but didn't quote Mr. Axelrod discussing specific policy options. Instead, he was quoted saying, "We have to deal with the world as we find it."
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said Mr. Axelrod's view had been mischaracterized and that he had only restated the president's willingness to negotiate on taxes.
"We're open to compromise," Mr. Pfeiffer said. "It's too early to say how that might be done."