"What we're not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest," Pfeiffer said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper Thursday afternoon. "We're not going to do that."
Earlier on Thursday, House Republican leaders released a preliminary list of items they plan to attach to any bill that also raises the debt ceiling. Among other things, it includes a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and entitlement reforms.
But a report from The Hill later Thursday suggested that Republicans might not have the votes necessary to move that bill.
The White House took pains Thursday to emphasize President Barack Obama's position of not negotiating over the debt ceiling. Pfeiffer did so in an especially colorful way.
"Republicans are not asking for a negotiation," he told CNN's Tapper. "It's a negotiation if I'm trying to sell you my house, and we are debating the price of it. It's not a negotiation if I show up at your house and say, 'Give me everything inside or I'm going to burn it down.'
"Republicans have provided a laundry list of essentially ransom demands of things that were essentially the Romney agenda that voters rejected."