*President Obama today defended his decision to compromise with Republicans and temporarily extend about-to-expire tax cuts for all Americans.

“There are some who would have preferred a protracted political fight,” the president said at a White House news conference a day after the deal was announced.

Many Democrats in Congress are unhappy about the agreement, but Obama said a long political battle “would be a bad deal for the economy. And it would be a bad deal for the American people.”

Still, he promised a fight during 2012, when the tax cuts would expire again, to make the point that he opposes the Republican position that high-income earners should get the extension, too.

The president defended himself against Republican and Democratic positions, saying purist positions on healthcare and taxes are no victory for Americans.