Barely an hour after President Barack Obama spoke at a prayer breakfast about humility in bridging divisive political debates, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney used populist rhetoric to describe Republican ideas for spending cuts to harm children and the elderly and helping corporations.

Obama and Congress are negotiating how to avoid a sequester, or automatic across the board spending cuts that take place on March 1. Carney called reports of Republican ideas “terrible.”

“It’s a series of measures that says seniors, middle class families, disabled kids and others will solely bear the burden in buying down the sequester while the wealthiest get held harmless,” Carney told reporters Thursday. “I don’t know where Republicans have been of late, but that is not a winning approach that the American people support, and it is not an approach that this president will accept. We need balance.”