Obama to hit the road to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff
November 27th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama to hit the road to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff

(CNN) – As negotiations continue over how to thwart the looming crisis known as the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama will take his case on the road this week, urging Americans to support his push to let tax rates rise on the wealthiest Americans.

The president will tour a manufacturing facility and give remarks in the southeastern Pennsylvania town of Hatfield on Friday, the White House announced Tuesday. The campaign-style trip comes as another example of the president building pressure on Congress through public support, rather than the behind-closed-doors approach used in last summer's debt talks.

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Friday's trip will follow a week of meetings with other constituencies. He'll meet with small-business owners from across the country on Tuesday and host an event at the White House on Wednesday with "middle-class Americans who would be impacted" if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction agreement by the year's end.

Also Wednesday, Obama is scheduled to meet with business leaders. He took part in similar meetings with labor groups and business heads two weeks ago, shortly before he held a meeting with congressional leaders in the White House.

The clock is ticking as Congress and the White House work to hash out a plan that would prevent an enormous amount or "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts from taking place next year.

Both sides are stalemated over how to raise revenue as part of a deficit-reduction package. House Republicans call for changes in the tax code - namely the closing of loopholes and limiting of deductions - while Senate Democrats and Obama argue for the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for households making more than $250,000.

While talks are ramping back up after the holiday break, a second meeting between the White House and congressional leaders has yet to be scheduled, though the president did reach out on Saturday to House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid about their efforts to avert the draconian cuts and tax hikes.

However, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney suggested in the daily briefing on Monday that holding direct talks with lawmakers might not be the best strategy for the president's agenda. Carney pointed to Obama's meetings with labor and business groups as a way to put indirect pressure on Congress.

Carney said "the notion that you can solve all problems over a cocktail" with politicians is somewhat overrated. Instead, he added that "engaging with not just the denizens of Washington but with the broader American public is very important to (Obama)."

"I think that some of the lessons that we learned over the last four years have to do with always being mindful of the fact that engaging the public on these sometimes chewy policy debates is important because they care," Carney continued. "And they have a deep stake in the outcome of the debate, so we'll continue to do that."

Last week, Obama's former campaign manager, Jim Messina, said the president's re-election campaign and its grassroots resources will "live on," most likely as a tool to promote the president's second-term policies.

Obama for America, the name of the campaign, already released an e-mail to its distribution list, educating readers on the president's fiscal cliff argument and rallying supporters to get behind him.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Ted Barrett, Lesa Jansen, Martina Stewart and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Chuk

    The President should remove the remaining obstacles to his policies including Republican intransingence and that cochroach named Norquist. He should break their will even if it means letting the fiscal cliff happen! Yes, Americans will be hurt by it, but hopefully for very short time and we all know who would get the blame for it.
    An unelected cochroach like Norquist who chooses to create choas should be arrested for treason. Once Norquist finds that he spent all his sponsors' money with nothing to show for it, it will dawn on the obstructionists that their game is up. It's just too bad that these obstructionists are not capable of understanding the result of a general election and the will of the people.

    November 27, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  2. Madero

    Cut spending? That would be a great great idea!

    November 27, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. Jack

    This president is going to bankrupt america. His plan is to raise taxes on the richest americans and raise maybe 70 billion a year. He is currently spending a trillion more a year in the red. So his plan is to lower it to 930 billion in the red. If you voted for this man you have blessed your kids with a bill that they will never be able to pay.

    November 27, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  4. maveric43

    Yesterday Warren Buffet stepped forward with a revenue plan and outlined how the proposal, which at its core would both raise rates and close loop holes on those of us earning more than 10 million dollars yearly, would generate roughly 300 Billion in tax revenue yearly thereby closing about 1/3 of the yearly federal deficit.

    It would be helpful if news outlets like CNN as well as the White house would release an estimate of how much revenue would be generated yearly if the Bush Tax Cuts were allowed to expire on those earning more than $250,000 yearly.

    November 27, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  5. Jack

    One more thing. This president is a liar!! He promised he would reach across the aisle and work with republicans. He reached across with his middle finger raised. Thanks to all you fools who voted for this man!!

    November 27, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  6. Cuffy Meigs

    Not another nickel in taxes until federal spending is slashed by half. Until then, shut this freedom-killing disaster of a federal government down!

    November 27, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  7. abyss

    Here is this moron giving another speech as opposed to working with Congress. We reelected a buffoon.

    November 27, 2012 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Go to all the districts of obstructionists republicans. Start off with Eric Cantor's district, the Mitch McConnell's. You have political capital, and now is the time to use it.

    November 27, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  9. Scott

    Someones needs to remind him the election is over, time to stay in Washington and do your job, not waste taxpayers money running around the country blowing hot air.

    November 27, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  10. It's Me

    "Obama to hit the road"

    Oh if that were only true.

    November 27, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. Steven

    Not pleased with the 250,000 as a couple being called rich. What if those people have kids? Children r expensive and those kids won't be able to get any college aid so its on those parents to save for college. I would prefer to have REAL rich people aka millionares pay more in taxes rather than upper middle class.

    November 27, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    He is drum rolling the public to do the WRONG thing, as USUAL!

    November 27, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  13. jww

    if it's a campaign style trip he'll get a campaign style response from the public
    that's nothing but a show of support for the media

    November 27, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  14. Darryl

    And this is what the President calls compromise ... as usual. Has he given the GOP a chance to prove that htey can raise just as much revenue with fixing the tax code loop holes, no. Because by all independent indications they can increase revenue to at, or above, the Presidents. It's so easy to stump for higher taxes on the top 5%, because .. dah, the other 95% are all for it.

    Mr. President, we keep hearing what you want and how you want the extra tax dollars. Why don't you spend a little more time explaining just exactly what and how much you are going to cut spending? Well, that is the tough part isn't it! The spending cuts will impact the other 95% that are all for taxing the top 5%.

    November 27, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  15. Katie

    Yes, tax the wealthier Americans, thank you. The middle-class is exhausted trying to pay for food, gas, home heating costs, escalating college expenses, and basic necessities. Trickle down economics has not worked.

    November 27, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  16. Pete

    You know if the govt receives more tax money all they will accomplish is to spend more tax money. It doesn't matter if it's this year or 10 years from now the result will always be the same. The govt has got to stop spending like there is no tomorrow.

    November 27, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  17. Jack29

    What Obama is proposing is the most sensible, and least painful solution. Nobody is even talking about high taxes on the wealthy, but simply returning their tax rates to those of the 1990's (which were still lower than in the 1950's!). This would still put them at FAR lower tax rates than in any other first world nation.
    If the fattest pigs at the trough can't handle giving a mere 2% more in taxation, then nobody else should have to be asked to give up ANYTHING.

    November 27, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  18. Manuel J.

    This president does NOT understand business. My daughter-in-law's father owns a business with 250 employees and I'm a business development manager in a fortune 200 company.

    On one occasion, we discussed the impact of Obamacare to his business and how he was grappling with having to lay people off as one of his options. He was lamenting that he puts all his money back into the business but, by Obama's definition, he makes too much money and ONLY spends it on himself. We also discussed this BS fiscal cliff effort by this ignorant president.

    In short, Obama doesn't know his head from a hole in the ground.

    November 27, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  19. luckjoe

    Looks like more campaign stumping. Why not stay home and meet with John Boehner & Harry Reid?

    November 27, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  20. Compromise Is the Only Way

    I voted for President Obama, but it's a shame that he's unwilling to reach out to the other side, make appropriate compromises (and demands), and "do what must be done" to hammer out an agreement. Respectfully, the American public don't have a say in how their Congressional delegations negotiate these types of fiscal issues; only the Congressional members, the President and his team, and the lobbyists do. He is simply not going to get the SEIU to do this job for him.

    Whatever happened to the days of Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and other democrats who realized that they *must* engage the other side of the aisle if they're going to get anything done? This "America Tour" is going to get the President nowhere, enrage Congress, and make solving this very real problem even more difficult. The man has to stop his ivory-tower approach to governing.

    November 27, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. Maximus

    Why is this guy STILL running for office?

    November 27, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. meetings with not-as remarkable men

    Congress has but a few good men and women and almost all of them are democrats; with the aid of a few moderate republicans they could help clean up this house and make America strong again.

    November 27, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  23. Brenda

    Gurgyl, unfortunately, i and the rest of the 5% already pay 64% of ALL INCOME TAX....you could take 100% of what I earn and still not touch the deficit.

    The ONLY way to fix this is to look hard at spending. You can insult republicans all you want, but there isn't a high enough tax rate to pay for everything Obama and the Democrats want....and lets face it, if you've ever seen the "Pork Book" we waste BILLIONS of dollars on nonsense. There is plenty of money to cut from the budget.

    November 27, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  24. Felix

    why not take the cap of income taxed for SS and medicare? now at $106,000(?). a painless way to gain revenue.

    November 27, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  25. Surfer George

    If the Rich keep becoming fewer and keep getting richer while the rest of us are NOT getting richer (and are in fact getting poorer) then the game is rigged. And the rules need to be adjusted.
    Taxing the Working Class who will be noticeably diminished while letting the Wealthy keep even more of their gains is WRONG...

    OR, explain to me why it's "right" and PLEASE, do NOT tell me about "Job Creators," that lie is threadbare and empty.

    November 27, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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