Liveblogging President Obama's Reaction to the Democrats' Epic Mid-Term Destruction
Jim Acosta asks if Obama is now a lame duck, is he running out of time?
More attitude from Obama, then says he tells his staff that they have the "privilege of being in charge of the most important organization on earth, the US government."
The government is too important, frankly.
Blathers about "opportunities to work with Republicans." As long as they do what he orders them to do. He really hasn't shown any sign of compromise. He defended unpopular Obamacare. Took credit for surging energy production, which has not only had nothing to do with, he has thrown the EPA in the way.
That's a wrap. Thanks for reading! It's definitely going to be an interesting couple of years.
Mopey president says current circumstances don't make him "mopey...they energize me."
His body language didn't really back that up. He only showed real energy when he was angry and on the back foot over Keystone and immigration, when Ed Henry and Major Garrett peppered him with tough questions.
And with that, he's done.
Last question: Are the losses about bad party framing, messaging, what? That question was prefaced with a claim that some of Obama's policies did better than Democrat candidates.
Minimum wage is the main issue in that claim. Obama ran right past Obamacare, which has always been unpopular and was successfully tied around Senate Democrats because they passed it. Then returns to the issue of non-voting (another little swipe at the GOP majority's legitimacy). Laments that voters just aren't that into him anymore. So sad.
He's less angry now, just seems sad that it's all come to this and his voters deserted him. Because it's all about him. Maybe he'll have a drink with Mitch McConnell.
"I am really optimistic about America. I know that runs counter to the current mood," Obama says. That mood has a whole lot to do with him, his tactics, his policies and his party. And, Obama spends an awful lot of time apologizing for America, not lauding it.
He sounds like he really wants to run another campaign for something, and is sad that he can't and still has a job that he's supposed to do in the mean time. Or he wants to be a shepherd for some lost flock of urban hipsters who can't find jobs.
Medical device tax: Gets testy, "I'd rather hear it from them than from you." The Republicans will surely bring that up when they meet with him Friday. Why "Canadian oil" and a device on medical gizmos get Obama so annoyed is a bit of a mystery.
Then he goes back to infrastructure. The president is a frustrated city manager.
Obama finishes with a flourish: "Whoo! Major works me, man!"
Keystone: Says he doesn't want to interfere in an "independent process." He just wants to interfere in the constitutional order on immigration.
He's getting a bit angry. Looking petulant and childish, talking about "Canadian oil" as if everyone doesn't know the basics on that pipeline. And, that if we don't approve the pipeline, we alienate a close ally and that "Canadian oil" ends up getting sold to China.
Major Garrett asks Obama to react to McConnell, who earlier said that executive order on amnesty would be "like waving a red flag in front of a bull." Garrett brings up the Keystone, the medical device tax, pretty much the whole GOP agenda that McConnell laid out earlier.
Immigration: Obama wants what he wants and will do what he'll do. Says those who oppose his exec action "deeply oppose immigration reform, in any form." Obama says he waited for a year, "did everything I could" to give the House "space to get something done." He has said "the executive actions that I take." He's going to do it, and he's threatening Congress -- do what I say, when I say it, or I'll just ignore you and do what I want.
That's not how the system is supposed to work, and he knows it. And he doesn't care about the election results. He dismisses that as "reading the tea leaves." He's setting up a constitutional showdown. It's going to be an interesting two years.
Obama gets some chuckles for telling Ed Henry that the admin is really working hard to make sure that the Obamacare website works well. This is the champion of Big Government chuckling about a colossal and expensive government screw-up on his watch. It cost a billion dollars. Har de har.
Obama refuses to reveal who he'll pick to replace Eric Holder as AG. Has the gall to note that that person will be obligated to follow the rule of law.
He won't sign an Obamacare repeal. He won't support any effort to weaken it. Admits that it was passed in a "contentious manner" -- no kidding -- so he'll allow "responsible changes." Then claims that "the law works."
Is that why he held off insurance hike notices until after the election?
Obama gets around to addressing "personnel" question -- troops. American troops. Henry wants to follow up, but Obama cuts him off with "Ed!" and says he wants to hear from the Republicans. Which means that this particular problem, he'll keep around through the lame duck and try to pin on Congress.
When Obama touted Yemen and Somalia as successful counter-terrorism, he meant it. Those countries are chaotic basket cases with armies of free range terrorists. Drone strikes take out the occasional terror boss, but those don't really change the strategic situation.