US President Barack Obama
speaks after a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House
in Washington (Reuters)
President Barak Obama triggered a Twitter frenzy when he blamed his lack of "Jedi Knight powers" to force through a budget deal with Republicans in Congress.
Users flooded Twitter with messages and the word "Jedi" trended after Obama said at the end of an unsuccessful last-minute meeting with congressional leader that he failed to do a "Jedi mind-meld" to convince lawmakers on the opposing side to negotiate.
"I'm not a dictator, I am the president," he said. "I can't have secret services block the doorway.
"It has been conventional wisdom that that even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable, that I'm presenting a fair deal, I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks [the Republicans] and convince then to do what's right."
Congressmen left Washington for the weekend without reaching agreement on an alternative to sweeping $85bn (£56bn) in government spending cuts. Obama described their stance as "dumb and arbitrary".
Republicans opposed proposals for a mix of tax hikes and spending cuts proposed and said they favoured only cuts to block the budget hole.
"Let's make it clear that the president got his tax hikes on 1 January. The discussion about revenue is over. It's about taking on the spending problem," said Republican House Speaker John Boehner.
The International Monetary Fund warned that automatic cuts sparked by the impasses could slow global economic growth.
"I don't anticipate a huge financial crisis but people are going to be hurt," Obama said.
"They [the cuts] are unnecessary and inexcusable," the president continued. "Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain, though, will be real."
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