Monday November 19, 2012

BANGKOK -- Even in the temples of Asia, President Barack Obama cannot escape thoughts of that fiscal cliff back home.

Touring the Wat Pho Royal Monastery in Bangkok, a sprawling compound of temples, gardens and man-made waterfalls, Obama was overheard chatting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and with their monk guide.

Clinton made a reference to budget negotiations back in Washington, where a damaging series of tax increases and spending cuts loom.

"Yes," Obama replied. "We’re working on this budget. We’re going to need a lot of prayer for that."

At a news conference later, Obama said he was not joking about the need for prayer.

"I always believe in prayers," he said. "I believe in prayer when I go to church back home, and if a Buddhist monk is wishing me well, I’ll take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with some challenges back home."


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