Friday's two conversations marked a rare moment of engagement from the president, as the White House has largely stayed on the sidelines during the panel's discussions.
Obama has come under stiff criticism of late from Republicans who believe the administration is banking on failure so it can use the GOP as a foil in next year’s presidential election. The calls were made as Obama jets out of town for most of the next week-and-a-half before the Nov. 23rd deadline for a deal.
The automatic spending cuts triggered by a super committee failure would not begin to take effect until 2013.
McCain said Wednesday he will try to get a consensus within the Senate to overturn the sequester.
“We will work hard to achieve that since all the military leadership, the Secretary of Defense and others have said it would inflict a quickening blow on our national security; we have fairly good ammunition” to win support, McCain said.