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Parties jockey on State of the Union point-scoring

Tuesday - 1/24/2012, 7:29am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - A top adviser to President Barack Obama says the White House is "happy to have a debate" about Obama's performance in office, while a leading House Republican says the president can't win on his record.

The contrasting views of senior White House adviser David Plouffe (pluhf) and Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan serve as a warm up for Obama's State of the Union address.

Plouffe says the administration considers this "a make-or-break" moment for the middle class. The Republican congressman from Wisconsin, says "it sounds like we're going to hear more of the same," predicting that Obama will "resort to divisiveness."

Plouffe says the wealthy should pay a greater portion of America's tax burden, arguing that many Republicans "are gravitating toward" that concept.

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(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)