US President Barack Obama has quipped that he needed 'heavenly' help to reach a budget deal with Congress before the year-end deadline.
Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were chatting with their tour guide, Head Monk Chaokun Suthee Thammanuwat, during a tour of the Wat Pho Royal Monastery in Bangkok, when the President was overheard making the comment.
"Yes we're working on this budget, we're going to need a lot of prayer for that," he said, according to a White House pool report.
According to the New York Daily News, they laughed, but Obama later said that he wasn't entirely kidding.
"I always believe in prayer," he said when the joke came up during a press conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
"I believe in prayer when I go to church back home, and if a Buddhist monk is wishing me well, I'm going to take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with some challenges back home," he added.
But he also offered reassurance that the deal will be made, even without an assist from above.
"I'm confident that we can get our fiscal situation dealt with," he said. (ANI)