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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs