الخميس، 7 يوليو، 2011

President Obama Hosts Twitter 'Town Hall' on Economy

U.S. President Barack Obama says he takes responsibility for the fact that Americans may not have been prepared for how long it would take to recover from the financial crisis.

The president spoke Wednesday at a "town hall" session featuring questions from users of the social networking site Twitter.

In response to a question on what he would do differently in handling the recession, Mr. Obama said he would have explained to the American people that it was going to take a while for the country to "get out of this." He said even he did not realize the magnitude of the recession until fairly far into it.

The president's economic policies have come under increased scrutiny in recent months as the nation's unemployment rate has edged higher, to more than nine percent.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner used Wednesday's Twitter session as an opportunity to air his party's concerns about the president's approach to the economy. He tweeted his own question to Mr. Obama, asking "where are the jobs?" following what he described as a "record spending binge" undertaken by the administration.

President Obama acknowledged that the country has not seen job growth that is fast enough relative to the need, but outlined several efforts he has undertaken to boost jobs, including providing tax cuts for small businesses. He also said he hopes to see Republicans cooperate on an initiative to put people to work rebuilding the country's infrastructure.

President Obama responded to the Twitter questions in a live webcast from the East Room of the White House.

He opened the session with his own tweet to the public, posing the question, "In order to reduce the deficit, what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep?"

Twitter users were encouraged last week to begin asking questions focused on the U.S. economy and jobs via Twitter messages tagged with the #AskObama label.

Twitter said the questions for the president would be selected using an algorithm that determines how much online interaction the questions generated.

Mr. Obama's personal Twitter feed - now managed by his 2012 campaign staff - has nearly nine million followers.

The president participated in a similar online discussion hosted by Facebook earlier this year.

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