“I’m pretty confident that Republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to trying to protect tax cuts for high-income individuals,” Obama said today in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters.

“I don’t think they’ll do that,” he said of Republicans forcing tax-rate increases for families earning $250,000 a year or less…

“I think the tone was good,” Obama told Walters. “I believe that both Speaker Boehner and myself and the other leaders want to see a deal happen. And the question now is can we get it done. The outlines, the framework of what a deal should look like are pretty straightforward.”