Obama to hit the road to avoid driving off the fiscal cliff
November 27th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years 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. jason

    republicans are used to problems only occurring in their imaginations. They aren't going to take the 'fiscal cliff' seriously. Republican lawmakers, on the other hand, have no incentive to do so.

    November 27, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  2. cyber_hackster

    "Obama to hit the road" - Doing what he does best – Campaign - Solution: BO can jump off the fiscal cliff......

    November 27, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. Obviously.

    Just go over the cliff. The last two polls by Pew and Gallup/CNN showed more Americans would blame the Republicans for the failure. Let them screw themselves over even worse in 2014.

    November 27, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. EM650

    Does President Obama really need to do a tour in promoting his plan??? This the current technology I would just think that he could post it on a website and has a televised address to the nation in order to promote the propaganda. Why take time away from being in Washington DC and actually accomplishing things?

    November 27, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. bob

    The argument over raising tax rates on the wealthy versus eliminating deductions for the wealthy seems incredibly stupid. Not surprising I guess, considering who's doing the arguing....namely congress. They would both have the same net effect on the wealthy; more money out of their pockets into the US treasury. If congress, and I mean both parties, can't agree on a way to accomplish what most sensible people seem to realize is necessary, then we're doomed as a country. Can you say Greece??

    November 27, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Kevin

    I would actually like to see Obama back in Washington, helping facilitate negotiations with the Republican party. I think the Republicans know that they can't afford to play as obstructionists anymore and that they're in a position where if the debt crisis isn't resolved, they're going to take the blame for it.
    I support Obama but I think this makes him look like a bully in a time when we really want the government, and everyone in it, to be working together. my $0.02.

    November 27, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. shades

    Obama still does not have a plan, oh Barry just wants to hide for 4 years, maybe no one will notice him.
    he got what he wanted and then poof !!

    November 27, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Rhonda Rahn

    Obama was elected by the people to do what we want: tax the wealthy. We the people stand behind him and we will indeed put pressure on the GOP to do the right thing and stop the fiscal cliff from occurring.

    The Republicans are the obstructionist party of NO and if America goes over the fiscal cliff, we will blame those who are resonsible: the Republicans. We will vote them out of the House in 2014.

    November 27, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Dick Smegma

    Legalized theft.

    It is not that some could not pay more, it is what the govt DOES with the money that bothers taxpayers!

    November 27, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Jerry

    I don't understand why some people feel entitled to more money from the goverment and that I should pay more taxes to support laziness and government wasted. I worked hard for what I have. The president is creating class warfare by trying to play Robin hood, and it easily appeals to the majority of people which is why he won the presidency again, but it is not right. It does not encourage hard work and creativity. Why should I work harder just so that I can pay more taxes? I can easily work less and escape this extra tax – and that is what I'll be forced to do if taxes are increased. I think the republican party should keep standing up to this and keep fighting this nonsense.

    November 27, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Steve

    Since Obama's proposal will only pay for 9 days of Gov't spending, what is the REAL PLAN!! More than 60% of the spending is on entitlements and this is scheduled to go to 80% in less than 10 years. If you cut 100% of defense, EPA, Education in 10 years you will still have a deficit due to entitlements. Man up and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

    November 27, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. 2020

    Obama for America is a great grassroot infrastructure to compliment President's agenda. This was lacked in his first term. To help President to overcome congress grid lock, this infrastructure will be an invaluable asset to change America, 10X faster and more effective. Bravo !!!

    November 27, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Steve

    What plan??? So far the President has not outlined a single cut in entitlement programs as a means of reducing the deficit. The Forbes top 400, wealthiest Americans, have a combined net worth of only $1.7 trillion. That could only cover one year of the President's deficit spending over his first four years. So, if you take away all of the wealth, not just a portion of annual earnings, we would not solve the problem. Increasing taxes on the wealthy will not make a dent in the deficit. The President needs to offer ip specific cuts in spending before worrying about increased revenues. He has no PLAN!

    November 27, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. 2020

    cyber_hackster GET YOURSELF TOGETHER. The Campaign is over. Obama won.

    November 27, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. NCP

    Ah, the Campaigner in Chief is at it again. Does this guy ever do his job? Are the people ever going to hold him accountable? We've heard one proposal from him: tax the rich. That will raise $87B and cover about 8% of the deficit. What about the other 92%?

    November 27, 2012 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Brock Landers

    I like the where it expires January 1st and now Obama working on it, most important job on this planet and the guy is wating for last minute? nice, gotta love our AMERICA – FYI – no matter what, people making over 200-250k is hit with a 3.8% tax to cover your obamacare – thanks again freeloaders, thanks again

    November 27, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. ash

    It is ludicrous to think that "making the rich pay" is going to fix this country's problems. If Democrats were serious about reducing the deficit then they would insist on letting all tax rates go up and cutting entitlements

    November 27, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. 2020

    legallized theft – well, you can move to Cayman Island where you have your haven.

    November 27, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Sagebrush Shorty

    Obama just wants to make the cliff higher and higher so that even the Republicans will be afraid to jump off. I still don't see any cohesive plan from his administration.

    November 27, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. ash

    The problem with American is everyone thinks that someone else besides THEM needs to pay MORE

    November 27, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. Michael, Chapel Hill

    If Obama wants to help the country why not he reduce White House expense from $1.4 BILLION ... With this amount of spending he advice others to sacrifice?....HE SPENDS MORE THAN ANY LIVING EMPEROR.

    November 27, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. 'Fiscal cliff set-on Automatic-Pilot

    Washington's Leadership running on 'Automatic-Pilot' and no-one seem to blink..Pres Obama as usual running from leadership and is on the campaign-trail again..and showing the least of 'Leadership'...A Leader, leaders must be able to reach-out and negotiate to bring about solutuion not division to really move the country "Forward"

    November 27, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Marcus

    Jack, idiots we would be IF we took any word coming from you a little more seriously than we already do (which is next to zero BTW).
    Seriously, the POTUS is the one who thinks that 'compromise' and 'bipartisanship' means 'MY way or the highway'?
    Tell us, who said that he had achieved 98% of he wanted (and in the end it wasn't enough for him to be true to his word and do what he had agreed to do for those 98%) last time there was some serious need of bipartisanship?
    Hint, he has a (R) attached to his name every time he shows up on TV...

    November 27, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  24. Know Your Subject

    The "fiscal cliff" is just a convenient diversion from the underlying issue that the government is addicted to spending at an unsustainable level. The tax increases and spending cuts that constitute the "fiscal cliff" were supposed to be the unthinkable alternative that would force Congress and the Administration to seriously address the country's fiscal problems. But the politicians just kicked the can down the road to the "fiscal cliff" because they were too busy campaigning to address real problems. Now, the Administration is fixated on making millionaires pay "a little more" in taxes and Congress may actually toss in a few nominal spending cuts, then they can all claim credit for avoiding the "fiscal cliff" while the government continues to overspend outrageously and borrow the country into oblivion.

    November 27, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. SuperD

    If the Democrats don't cough up some entitlement reform, then they get no tax increases on the "boogey man" wealthy.

    The real point of the matter is this, The Dems have no ideas, no plan for anything. Go back 40 years and see that the Liberals all go "the rich is not paying their fair share" Harken to 2012 and "the rich are not paying their fair share" See, 40 years and the same old lame, ideas.......tax the rich.....boy that will solve everything.....

    I give all you the finger who voted for this man

    November 27, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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