President Obama is gearing up for a public campaign to rally support for a bipartisan deficit-reduction deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The president is meeting with labor leaders on Tuesday and business leaders on Wednesday ahead of Friday talks at the White House with congressional Republicans and Democrats. Obama stayed close to home during closed-door meetings over the debt limit in 2011, but the process got bogged down in partisan bickering. This time, Obama is coming out of a re-election victory that he says gave him a mandate to forge a deficit-reduction agreement mixing spending cuts with tax increases for the wealthiest Americans, and the president plans to travel outside Washington to firm up backing for his proposal to avert the looming $600 billion in automatic tax hikes and spending cuts.
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