Obama Waters Down Historic GOP Victory, Likes Hugs, Won't Reassess White House Agenda Moving Forward

Posted: Nov 05, 2014 4:35 PM

Speaking from the White House Wednesday afternoon just hours after Republicans cruised to victory in a number of races across the country and regained a majority in the U.S. Senate, President Obama gave little indication he will change or reassess his agenda moving forward with Mitch McConnell as majority leader. 

"Obviously Republicans had a good night and deserve credit for running good campaigns," Obama said. "[But] We are simply more than a collection of blue and red states."

The President was asked about whether he will be changing his personal political agenda to accommodate a new Republican Senate and House. He danced around the issue and refused to say specifically what he'll do differently in the future to get things done but did say he is "open to Republican ideas."

"Congress will pass some bills that I cannot sign and I will take some actions that Congress will not like," Obama said. "To everyone who voted I want you to know I hear you, to the two thirds of Americans chose not to participate, I hear you too." 

Obama failed to take any responsibility for the massive rebuttal of Democrats at the polls yesterday as Democratic and Republican presidents have typically done in the past after wave elections against their Party. Further, he argued messaging about policy was the reason why Democrats lost yesterday, not because of the policies themselves.

On the issue of illegal immigration, which Obama has said repeatedly he will address through executive action before the end of the year, the President said he is willing to listen to Republican ideas and offered to accept comprehensive legislation as a replacement for executive action, if of course the legislation reflects the intentions of that action. He also refused to acknowledge the role his potential executive action on this issue had on the midterm elections.

"I don't want to try and read the tea leaves on election results," he said. "If you send me a bill that I can sign, executive actions go away."

In relation to foreign policy, President Obama announced today he will ask Congress for authorization to continue going after the terror army ISIS in Iraq and Syria. When asked if the United States is winning the war against ISIS, President Obama had a tough time defining "winning," despite saying months ago his goal was to degrade and destroy them.

"It's too early to say whether we are winning [against ISIS]," Obama said. "It's a messy situation."

When asked about ongoing talks about the Iranian nuclear program, the President seemed unsure about whether his administration will be able to strike a deal. 

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse," he said.

On Obamacare, Obama seemed open to what he called proposals of "responsible change" to the Affordable Care Act in light of problems the legislation has had thanks to being pushed through the Senate and passed against the will of the American people back in 2010. 

Near the end of the press conference, Obama discussed how much he enjoys campaigning, shaking hands and hugging people he meets around the country. He also threw in a few comments about roads and bridges for good measure. 

"I love campaigning," he said. "I love getting hugs." 

This post has been updated.