On the second leg of a three-day town hall tour, President Obama visited Facebook‘s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters for a conversation with “the youth.“ Fielding questions from both Facebook users around the country and staffers at the office, he touched on a broad range of subjects, including the deficit, health care and the housing crisis.
Mindful of his audience, the president emphasized the more liberal elements of his agenda, such as protecting the social safety net and the DREAM Act. Twice he reminded them that he “can‘t do it by [himself].“ Thankfully, references to 4/20 were avoided.
Check out The Root‘s Twitter notes (@theroot247) under the #fbtownhall hashtag, where we tuned in live. For those not on Twitter, here are a few highlights.
* On the Republican 2012 budget plan:
“Yes, I think it‘s fair to say that their vision is radical. No, I don’t think it‘s particularly courageous … Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the backs of people who are poor or people who are powerless or don’t have lobbyists or don’t have clout. I don’t think that’s particularly courageous.“
* On the difficulties of homeownership:
“A lot of people who bought a first home when credit was easy now are finding that credit is tough. And we’ve got to strike a balance. Frankly, there‘s some folks who are probably better off renting.
” … There are certain communities with high foreclosure rates where what we’re trying to do is see if can we help state and local governments take over some of these homes and convert them and provide favorable terms to first-time home buyers. But frankly, I think we’ve got to understand that the days where it was really easy to buy a house without any money down is probably over. What I’m really concerned about is making sure that the housing market overall recovers enough that it‘s not such a huge drag on the economy, because if it isn‘t, then people will have more confidence, they‘ll spend more, more people will get hired and overall the economy will improve.“
* On immigration reform: