President Obama says his vote as a senator in 2006 against raising the debt limit was a mistake motivated by politics.
Obama also says Senate Democrats will bear the burden this time around when Congress votes on whether to lift the cap.
The U.S. will hit its debt limit of $14.3 trillion by May 16. The government could be thrown into default if Congress doesn't raise the limit by then or soon after.
Republicans who control the House are demanding that Obama agree to major spending cuts in exchange for their votes.
Obama told ABC News on Thursday that no senator likes to be tagged as voting to increase the debt limit. But as president, he says he has a different perspective on the consequences.