In an obvious move to capture back support he’s lost since being elected in 2008 – and to grab young voters in the 2012 election – U.S. President Barack Obama participated in a live, streaming Q&A from Facebook headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area this afternoon to address the country’s deficit and relating issues.
President Obama talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg before a dinner in February.
Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg was responsible for moderating the “Facebook live” townhall, but made an awkward pause before inviting Obama on stage: “I’m kind of nervous, we have the President of the United States here!”
In his opening remarks, Obama said that Facebook and other social media “revolutionize how people get information” and that it was important to create a dialogue between its users and the country’s leaders. He took several questions from Facebook employees and viewers online, and even made a few jokes about the age of people watching, saying at one point that they might not remember Bill Clinton’s presidency.
When asked about how to tackle the country’s debt, Obama said his plan to lower deficits by $4 trillion in the next 12 years is “doable” if it’s done in a balanced way, and again stressed that spending cuts and new revenue must be combined with tax increases for the wealthy.
In a separate question posed by a Facebook employee asking if Obama thought Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget was too bold, the President responded “I guess you could call it bold. I would call it short-sided,” saying that the budget would put a heavy burden on the middle class and poor, while unfairly decreasing taxes to the rich.
During the hour-long conversation, Obama also called for comprehensive immigration reform by making the system more “efficient” for immigrants who will contribute to the economy, and less threatening to illegal aliens afraid to apply for citizenship because of punishment they’ll face.
Obama also tackled questions on education, healthcare, the housing crisis and unemployment. He said near the beginning of the hour that he was optimistic America will be able to adapt to the issues it faces, and finished by saying young people are the ones who will guide forward the adaptation. Shortly after the President finished speaking, Zuckerberg then gave him a gift to better blend-in with the young crowd: A Facebook hoodie.
(Photo: NW Linux)
Please login to add to favorites
Already added to favorites
Added as Favorite