President Obama gave a press conference today on last night’s elections results, and said he learned some important lessons from the outcome. “I’m not recommending for future presidents that they take a shellacking like I did last night,” he said, because “there are easier ways to learn these lessons.”“Some election nights are more fun than others. Some are exhilarating. Some are humbling,” said the President.
And this year’s elections show that “too many Americans haven’t felt that progress” that has been made. “And they told us that yesterday.”
“As president I take responsibility for that,” Obama said.
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He continued that he hopes that he and the Republicans can “work harder to reach consensus” on the issues. “No party has a monopoly on wisdom.”
The President said that he realizes he ran on a message that he was going to change Washington, but “we were in such a hurry to get things done, that we didn’t change how things got done.”
He added that he understands Eric Cantor wants a ban on earmarks, and he thinks that’s something they can make progress on together.
Obama was asked in the press conference whether this election is a referendum on health care reform. He replied that he thinks “we’d be misreading the election if we think the American people want to see us re-litigate arguments we’ve had over the past two years.”
And on the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Obama said that “making this change needs to be done in an orderly fashion,” but that there is a review coming at the beginning of the month “that will give us time to act in potentially during the lame duck session to change this policy.”
“This should not be a partisan issue,” he added.
On the Bush tax cuts, Obama said: “My goal is to make sure that we don’t have a huge spike in taxes for middle class families.”
“It is very important that we’re not taking a whole bunch of money out of the system from people who are most likely to spend that money,” Obama continued.
So, he said, he hopes that he can sit down with Republicans “and see where we can move forward in a way that first of all does no harm,” but “how that negotiation works itself out is tough to say.”
Obama added that he hopes “we’re not gonna play brinkmanship.”