President Barack Obama spoke from the White House today on the impending Fiscal Cliff crisis.
At one point Obama turned and spoke to someone off screen, saying: "Guys, I can hear you."
Obama has said that he had constructive discussions with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner today. The president spoke about the bureaucracy of getting things done in D.C., repeatedly referring to getting things done in "this town." And in saying "this is deja-vu — all over again," Obama spoke about the general working population's disillusionment with Washington power brokers.
If a deal isn't reached, Obama said, a "basic package" will be brought to the Senate floor that will ostensibly extend the Bush tax cuts.
Stressing that nobody wanted the taxes to go up on middle-class people was a running theme of the conference.
Obama said he is "modestly optimistic" that a deal can be done before the deadline.