Updated 11/03/2010 03:47 PM
Obama Addresses Republican Gains In Washington
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Addressing the public during a televised news conference this afternoon, President Barack Obama said that the losses experience by Democrats in Tuesday's midterm elections reflect a frustration among voters that economic recovery is not happening fast enough.
"They understand that I'm the president of the United States and that my core responsibility is making sure that we've got an economy that's growing, a middle class that feels secure, that jobs are being created,” said the president. “So I think I have to take direct responsibility for the fact that we have not made as much progress as we need to make."
Republicans picked up at least 59 seats last night for the biggest party turnover in more than 70 years. That's far more than the 39 seats the Republicans needed to take the majority.
The presumptive Speaker of the House John Boehner joined Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell to talk about the Republican's plan for 2011.
They say they will work to reduce the size of the government, create more jobs, and repeal Obama's health care bill.
"The government will do exactly what the American people demand every day; nothing more, nothing less, if they stay engaged in the process. And I'm very hopeful that they will,” Boehner said.
"How do we meet in the middle? And it seems to me the best strategy for the other side would be to listen to the voters yesterday,” said McConnell. “They made a clear statement about what they'd like to see done. If the president comes in our direction, obviously we want to make progress for the country over the next two years."
McConnell also mentioned trade agreements, nuclear power, and clean coal technology as issues Republicans would like to tackle. Boehner also said he will fight to maintain the current tax rates.
Obama said that compromise will be necessary when it comes to tax cuts and his energy policies.
The president says he's already congratulated the new Republican leadership.
“I'm not suggesting this will be easy. I won't pretend we'll be able to bridge every difference and solve every disagreement,” said Obama. “There's a reason we have two parties in this county and both Democrats and Republicans have beliefs that each feels cannot be compromised. But what I think the Americans are expecting is that we focus on issues that affect their jobs and their future.”
Democrats were able to fend off a total takeover, as they maintain control of the Senate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fought off a challenge from Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle in Nevada. Democrats also held on to the seat once occupied by Robert Byrd in West Virginia with a win by Joe Manchin.