We now have a far better source, with named sources, saying close to the same thing.

Reuters quotes McConnell's spokesman by name, one
Don Stewart, [who] said the White House insisted that it would a "deal breaker" if the entire package of tax credits was not in the bill. Stewart also said the White House initially wanted to make all of the tax breaks permanent, rather than extend them only through the end of this year.

"The White House ... can't deny that the only reason the (business tax breaks were) included in the final agreement is because the president insisted" they be in there, Stewart said.
This, however, makes explicit what the WH was pushing for-- the energy tax subsidies. At that late, it was deemed impossible to try to take the package passed by the Senate committee on a large bipartisan majority vote apart on the merits.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday said that Obama supported the overall package of tax breaks for businesses. He emphasized that the president favored the wind energy credit and tax benefits for research and development to encourage "job-creating research investments."

Carney also said that many of the tax breaks in the fiscal cliff bill had bipartisan support.

"It would strain the credulity of everyone in this room to suggest that Republicans did not support or want tax credits for business," Carney said during his daily briefing to reporters.

Some Democratic strategists said that given the rush to get a fiscal cliff bill through Congress before U.S. financial markets opened for the new year last Wednesday, it likely seemed unrealistic to pick apart the package of tax credits - known as "extenders" - that had passed the Senate Finance Committee on a bipartisan, 19-5 vote.


So the package - with its $222 million credit for the rum industry, a $78 million write-off for the owners of NASCAR auto racing tracks and tax credits for the film industry that could total $248 million, among other things - survived intact, like a holiday bonus to Washington's lobbyists.
So, it's not true that the WH insisted on the NASCAR breaks, or the bankster breaks, but they came along for the ride on the backs of the renewable energy tax credits.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...90700L20130108