A reporter for the Chicago Tribune congratulated President Obama on winning reelection during a press conference Wednesday at the White House.

Obama called on Christi Parsons, the White House reporter for the Chicago Tribune.


"Thank you, Mr. President," Parsons said. "And congratulations, by the way."

Obama then noted Parsons was there "when I was running for state Senate."

"That's right, I was," Parsons replied, adding that she had "never seen you lose. I wasn't there that one time."

Parsons was referring to the president's 2000 challenge of Rep. Bobby Rush, a Democrat on the South Side of Chicago who handed the president his only electoral defeat.

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Parsons went on to ask Obama about the "fiscal cliff" of automatic spending cuts and tax increases, and a diplomatic push to address the Iranian nuclear program.

Obama responded by noting that if Congress was unable to reach a deal, it could have a profound effect on holiday shopping.

"If despite the election, if despite the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff and what that means for our economy that there's too much stubbornness in Congress that we can't even agree on giving middle-class families a tax cut," Obama said, "then middle-class families end up having a big tax hike, and that's a pretty rude shock for them, and I suspect we'll have a big impact on the holiday shopping season, which in turn will have an impact on business planning and hiring and we can go back in to a recession."

"It would be a bad thing."