WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the "fiscal cliff" deadline edges closer, it's getting trickier for President Barack Obama to balance his public pressure campaign on Republicans with his private negotiations with GOP leaders.
The White House is loath to abandon its two-pronged strategy. Advisers see both elements as key to winning concessions from Republicans on taxes and reaching a deal to avert the series of year-end tax hikes and spending cuts.
But Obama's campaign to rally public support for his fiscal cliff positions has irked some Republicans. And continuing to publicly lambaste GOP lawmakers as obstructionists for not giving in to White House demands that tax rates rise on the top 2 percent of income earners could undercut trust between Obama and Republicans in their private talks.