President Barack Obama, taking a combative tone in a standoff with congressional Republicans over the U.S. debt, said the country cannot deal with its budget problems through spending cuts alone.

"Both parties have a responsibility to come together and solve the problem and make sure the American people are not hurt on this issue," Obama said in a speech at the National Council of La Raza.

"I've already said I'm willing to cut spending that we don't need by historic amounts to reduce our long-term deficit and make sure that we can invest in our children's future," he said. "But we can't just close our deficits by cutting spending."