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President Barack Obama says if President Ronald Reagan was running for president now, he "could not get through a Republican primary today."

Obama said during a question-and-answer session with newspaper editors on Tuesday that Reagan was forced to raise taxes and spending cuts to deal with high deficits during his presidency in the 1980s.

The president says if Reagan were running today, he couldn't emerge from the current Republican primary contest led by Mitt Romney.

Obama is criticizing Republican presidential candidates who were not willing to raise taxes in order to deal with high federal budget deficits.

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