President Barack Obama has urged congressional leaders to help him fufill what he called his mandate to help middle class families.
In a wide-ranging press conference, his first since re-election, Obama said America had to avoid jumping off the “fiscal cliff” of nearly 500 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts.
“We should not hold the middle-class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. We should at least do what we agree on, and that’s to keep middle-class taxes low. I’ll bring everyone in to sign it, right away – so we can give folks some certainty before the holiday season,” he said.
There were words of encouragement for the former CIA chief David Petraeus, who resigned last week after admitting an affair. Obama also gave assurances that no state secrets had been leaked as a result.
“I want to emphasise that from my perspective at least, he has provided this country an extraordinary service, we are safer because of the work Dave Petraeus has done, and my main hope now is that he and his family are able to move on.”
Obama said he would withhold judgement whether he should have been told earlier about the probe into General Petraeus and voiced confidence in the FBI’s ability to handle the investigation.
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