News / USA

Obama: Election 'Shellacking' Shows Economic Frustration

President Barack Obama makes an opening statement during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, 3 Nov 2010
President Barack Obama makes an opening statement during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, 3 Nov 2010
Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama says opposition Republicans' major gains in Tuesday's midterm elections show that Americans are frustrated with the country's economic problems.  The president also pledged to work with Republicans to solve those problems.

President Obama faced reporters Wednesday, and blamed the sluggish economy for Democrats' big losses at the polls.

"Yesterday's vote confirmed what I have heard from folks all across America," said President Obama. "People are frustrated, they are deeply frustrated with the pace of our economic recovery and the opportunities they hope for their children and their grandchildren.

Most of the hour-long White House press conference focused on the economy, and the president accepted responsibility for the slow recovery.

"Over the last two years we have made progress, but clearly too many Americans have not felt that progress yet, and they told us that yesterday," said Mr. Obama. "And as president, I take responsibility for that."

Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, gaining far more than the 39 seats they needed to move into the majority.  Democrats still hold a majority in the Senate, but lost several seats to the Republicans.

Republican John Boehner, now the House Minority Leader, will almost certainly become Speaker of the House.  Boehner has fought against most of Mr. Obama's initiatives, including the health care reform law, which the Republican leader has pledged to try to repeal.

The president called Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday night, and said he will try to work with them to solve the country's problems.

"I told John Boehner and Mitch McConnell last night I am very eager to sit down with members of both parties and figure out how we can move forward together," said President Obama. "I am not suggesting this will be easy."

Boehner said Wednesday he looks forward to cooperating with the president, but will not abandon the principles that propelled his party to victory on Tuesday.

"We discussed working together on the American people's priorities-cutting spending, creating jobs-and we hope that he will continue to be willing to work with us on those priorities," said Boehner. "But as I said last night, the new majority here in Congress will be the voice of the American people, and I think we clearly expressed that last night."

When a reporter asked Mr. Obama how it felt to watch so many of his Democratic allies being turned out of office, he replied bluntly, It feels bad.  But he said the experience may help him to become a better president by staying in closer touch with the American people.

"Now, I am not recommending for every future president that they take a shellacking like I did last night," said Mr. Obama. "I am sure there are easier ways to learn these lessons.  But I do think that this is a growth process and an evolution."

Mr. Obama also pointed out that former presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton suffered heavy losses in their first midterm elections and were both re-elected two years later.

Related video report by Laurel Bowman:

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More