President Obama said his approach was that ''the wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more''

US President Obama has reiterated his call for high earners in the US to pay more in taxes, in his first news conference since winning re-election.

He called for quick legislation to rule out tax rises on the first $250,000 (£158,000) of income, but refused to extend cuts for the wealthiest 2%.

"We should not hold the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy," Mr Obama said.

The US faces a so-called "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax rises.