December 8th, 2010
07:50 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) -With anger mounting from liberals over his compromise on extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts, President Obama joined a phone call with progressive activists Tuesday evening, and said he was "absolutely convinced" he got the best possible deal.
"We put up the best possible fight under the circumstances," the president said on a phone call arranged by 'Organizing for America,' the organization behind his presidential campaign that is now part of the DNC.
"The harm to American families and our economy in the interim would have been too great," he said if Republicans had led a filibuster in the Senate. "The middle class tax cuts that were put in place in the last decade, as well as the tax cuts I put in place after I took office would have expired, and that would have cost the average family three thousand dollars, and it would have cost our economy nearly a million jobs."
"Even though I don't think the other side's position was reasonable, the fact is that without an agreement with them, we would not be able to keep this recovery going, and we would have hurt millions of people," he said.
But in a nod to his audience, Obama said as a result of the concessions he secured from Republicans, the deal included many of the same progressive policies he had championed for years such as an extension of unemployment benefits, and extending tax cuts for the working poor, families with children, as well as college students.
Looking ahead to what is sure to be a mammoth fight over tax policy the next two years, Obama asked everyone listening to enlist their friends and neighbors to go "right back at Republicans and show why the things they wanted in this compromise don't make sense."
DNC Chairman, and former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine introduced the president on the call.
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