Obama addresses Tweet to end "war on drugs"

President Barack Obama walks over to a Macbook laptop for a live-tweet during the first ever Twitter Town Hall, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey follows the president at right. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

At the start of his Twitter town hall Wednesday, President Obama sent a Tweet asking users to tell him "what costs would you cut and what investments would you keep" to reduce the deficit.

The president, who was responding to Twitter questions in a live video, was asked to address some of the responses to his query toward the end of the town hall. The first came from Brian McKeon, who wrote, "Cut defense contracting, End war on Drugs. Eliminate agribiz and big oil subsidies. Invest in public campaign financing."

"That's not a bad list," Mr. Obama said, looking at the Tweet on a big screen.

President Barack Obama walks over to a Macbook laptop for a live-tweet during the first ever Twitter Town Hall, Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

After saying the administration is "already making progress" on defense contracting, he addressed the "war on drugs."

"What we've always said is that investing in prevention, reducing demand is going to be the most cost-effective thing that we can do," he said. "We still need to interdict the big drug kingpins, and we still have to enforce our drug laws, but making sure that we're spending more on prevention and treatment can make a huge difference."

Mr. Obama went on to endorse eliminating subsidies for agribusiness and "big oil" and to say he has supported campaign financing in the past - though it's worth noting that he did not accept it in his 2008 presidential campaign.

Addressing other responses to his Tweet, the president would later defend "modest" foreign aid as a "force multiplier" that reflects "America's role as a global leader," repeat his call for tax hikes for high-earners, call for "fairly gradual" and "thoughtful" defense cuts that maintain obligations to service members and veterans, and defend "well designed" welfare programs that don't encourage dependency.

More from the Twitter town hall:

Obama warns of "second recession or worse"
Obama says he didn't realize magnitude of recession at first
Obama says "back to the drawing board" on mortgage help
Obama: Time to for NASA to "revamp" space mission

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