"The sequester is not something I proposed. It's something Congress proposed and it will not happen," he said.
The statement came while he and Gov. Mitt Romney discussed the half-trillion dollars in proposed military cuts that will result from the bi-partisan sequestration, passed by Congress, which some of the lawmakers, like Sen. John McCain, now repudiate.
"This, in my view, is the highest responsibility of the President of the United States, which is to maintain the safety of the American people. And I will not cut our military budget by a trillion dollars, which is a combination ofthe budget cuts that the president has, as well as the sequestration cuts. That, in my view, is making our future less certian and less secure," said Romney.
Obama said his budget proposals keep funding at the current level. He also said Mr. Romney did not know the military well and that the technological advances had reduced the need for a full compliment of naval ships.
Some analysts said they believed Mr. Obama misspoke and meant to say the sequestration should not happen, rather than would not happen. Yet others wondered if there were secret talks in the works to negate the cuts and lay-offs that would ensue.
Some, like U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, have criticized moves by the Obama administration that they see as using jobs to play politics. Layoff notices that were set to go out to some Lockheed Martin employees were halted by the Obama administration last month.
"This does prove one thing: This administration will do anything to win the election," said Wicker.
The layoff notices were required to be sent out at least 60 days prior to the layoffs, but were put on hold by the company. The company said they have heard from the Dept. of Defense that no contract adjustments are expected in January and that any adjustments due to sequestration would not happen for several months.
The Obama administration has said it would cover severance costs if contracts were canceled anyway. Meanwhile, the Warn Act mandates the government must give the 60-day notice. That could mean legal problems if the proper notice is not given.
Wicker said that means the Obama camp is side-stepping federal regulations on the notices. He says the opportunity has existed for months to postpone the coming cuts.
"The House of Representatives has passed a bill to postpone sequestration and the Democratic leadership of the administration and the Senate have just ignored those efforts and done absolutely nothing," he said.