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U.S. President Barack Obama holds a news conference at the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House July 11, 2011 in Washington, D.C. - 

Kai Ryssdal: And what we had in the Great American Debt Limit Debate of 2011 today wasn't really substantive negotiation. It wasn't really the hurly burly of reasonable political discourse. It was -- in the final analysis -- a set of dueling news conferences.

The president said when he went first -- as he's said before -- that the debt ceiling just has to be raised. The people are watching, he said. Kind of.

Barack Obama: Yeah, the public is not paying close attention to the ins and outs of how a Treasury auction goes. They shouldn't. They're worrying about their family, they're worrying about their jobs, they're worrying about their neighborhood. They've got a lot of other things on their plate. We're paid to worry about it.

Speaker John Boehner went before the cameras a little bit later to offer his take.

John Boehner: I want to do what I think is in the right interest, the best interest of the country. But it takes two to tango. And they're not there yet.

It occurred to us that we've been hearing a whole lot from politicians lately, not much from real people.

Ruth Perez: I don't think that the U.S.A.'s never going to be get out of the debt that we're in right now.

John Thomas: The thing that I find most alarming is that we wait until the last minute in order to do these kind of things.

Lindsey Armin: I'm concerned about what's going to happen so we don't fall down, but I'm also concerned about what we're going to do for the long term.

Vel Perry: You want to talk about getting rid of the debt? Well, stop spending money. It's just like you and I. When we spend what we don't have, we go in debt -- what happens? We gotta go bankrupt, right?

That was Ruth Perez and Vel Perry in New York, John Thomas in St. Louis and Lindsey Armin in Palo Alto, Calif. on the debt limit today.