Obama talks beer, money, and war in online chat session

WASHINGTON Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:24am IST

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, August 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama tested his typing skills on Wednesday in an online chat with young people that covered the White House beer recipe, money in politics, and the war in Afghanistan.

Obama has been courting students' votes on a two-day tour of colleges in the battleground states of Iowa, Colorado and Virginia, and his campaign is eager to have him appeal to young people in venues like "reddit," where he held the Internet chat session.

A picture of the president sitting at a laptop and typing away during a campaign stop in Virginia was provided on the website as proof that it was indeed Obama taking people's questions.

During the chat, Obama said the country might need to consider amending the Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in the 2010 "Citizens United" case that allowed outside groups known as Super PACs to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns.

"Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it)," he wrote. "Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight on the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change."

He also talked about the difficulty of sending soldiers to war and the importance his administration placed on space exploration -- an issue that matters especially to voters in the swing state of Florida.

Asked about a White House-brewed beer that has gained attention in recent weeks, Obama promised the recipe would be released.

"It will be out soon!" he typed. "I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty."

He also predicted what he would do at the end of the November 6 election, taking care to single out, again, the youth vote he is hoping will help propel him to victory over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

"Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices," he said.

Asked about keeping balance in his life, Obama noted he was lucky not to have a commute and could make it home every night he was in town for an evening meal with his family.

"Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner," he wrote at the end of the chat.

"But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run." (Editing by Peter Cooney)

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