It was the president…

“Good evening.” Speaker Boehner said.

Versus the speaker–a battle of Washington heavyweights–dueling, back-to-back, in prime time. It might as well have been a debate.

President Obama: "We've spent more money than we take in."

Speaker Boehner: "If you're spending more money than you're taking in, you need to spend less of it."

The president blamed George W. Bush:

"In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, while two wars and an expensive prescription drug program were simply added to our nation's credit card."

The speaker blamed the president:

"The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today."

Not true, said the president, who wants new revenues, repeatedly insisting that it’s a:

“Balanced approach,….balanced approach,…balanced approach.”

Speaker Boehner said, "The president has often said we need a balanced approach–which in Washington means: we spend more…you pay more."

President Obama: "The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for dysfunctional government."

Speaker Boehner: "Unfortunately, the president would not take yes for an answer. Even when we thought we might be close on an agreement, the president's demands changed."

If this had been a debate, I'd have no problem picking the winner.

John Boehner won. He was clear-eyed and cold-blooded–committed to a principle.

The loser was the president, who failed again to explain why the federal government must have more money.

And for all of you who are waiting for the presidential race to start, you can stop.

Last night was proof it already has.

I’m Andy Hiller, that’s my instinct

(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox