Obama Takes Fiscal Cliff Battle to Social Media
President Barack Obama is trying to leverage the social media swarm to push congressional Republicans into a compromise on the nation's budget.
The White House reached out to followers on Twitter, Facebook and email on Wednesday to urge Congress to agree on tax hikes and entitlement cuts that would help the country avoid the fiscal cliff it fast approaches.
"If there's one thing that I've learned, when the American people speak loudly enough, lo and behold, Congress listens," Obama said on television Wednesday at the White House.
The so-called "fiscal cliff" is a term referring to tax increases and spending cuts that will automatically go into effect if the two parties cannot reach a budgetary compromise by the beginning of 2013. The sweeping fiscal plan would cut in half the United States' public debt for next year.
On Twitter, the president's team started a hashtag #My2K -- referring to the $2,200 that the White House estimates will be saved by middle class families from tax cuts Obama is seeking to extend -- rallying supporters who said that the money pays for their student loans, diapers or healthy food for children.
The White House posted photos on Facebook of the president convening with apparently middle class families in Iowa and elsewhere -- families that presumably benefit from the tax cuts Republicans refuse to extend without guarantee that wealthy families will receive similar breaks.
Top Republican leaders had a more muted responses on social media.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sent out a four-tweet barrage, relying on the hashtag #FiscalCliff to catalog his links to a press release and two C-SPAN clips of the Kentucky senator arguing against tax increases.
House Speaker John Boehner was slightly more aggressive, retweeting his fellow GOP representatives and labeling links to articles pushing for Democrats to compromise on entitlement cuts with Obama's #My2K.