White House

Highlights From Obama’s Press Conference

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Nov. 3, 2010, 10:50 a.m.

Here are some high­lights from Pres­id­ent Obama’s post-“shel­lack­ing” press con­fer­ence today, in which he ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment with his party’s show­ing in Tues­day night’s midterm elec­tions and took re­spons­ib­il­ity for voters’ frus­tra­tion with the pace of eco­nom­ic change.

  • On eco­nom­ic pro­gress: “Too many Amer­ic­ans haven’t felt that pro­gress yet, and they told us that yes­ter­day. And as pres­id­ent, I take re­spons­ib­il­ity for that.”
  • “What the Amer­ic­an people don’t want from us, es­pe­cially here in Wash­ing­ton, is to spend the next two years re­fight­ing the polit­ic­al battles of the last two.”
  • “I’m do­ing a whole lot of re­flect­ing, and there are go­ing to be areas in policy where we’re go­ing to have to do a bet­ter job…. I think over the last two years we have made a series of very tough de­cisions, but dis­cus­sions that were right in terms of mov­ing the coun­try for­ward.”
  • On 2008 elec­tion prom­ises to change the way Wash­ing­ton worked: “One of the reas­ons, I think, that people were ex­cited about the cam­paign was the pro­spect that we were go­ing to change how busi­ness is done in Wash­ing­ton. We were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn’t change how things got done, and I think that frus­trated people.”
  • Eric Can­tor today said he wanted to see a morator­i­um on ear­marks con­tin­ue; I think that’s something we can work on to­geth­er.”
  • On the 1099 tax pro­vi­sion in­cluded in the health care bill: “It’s prob­ably coun­ter­pro­duct­ive. It was de­signed to make sure rev­en­ue was raised to pay for oth­er meas­ures.”
  • On see­ing loy­al Demo­crats lose their races: “It feels bad. The toughest thing over the last couple of days is see­ing really ter­rif­ic pub­lic ser­vants not have the op­por­tun­ity to serve any­more…. The cour­age they showed is something I ad­mire so much. I can’t over­state it. There’s not only sad­ness but also a lot of ques­tion­ing on my part as far as, could I have done something dif­fer­ent or something more so that those folks would still be there?”
  • On con­tinu­ing to pur­sue an en­ergy policy: “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skin­ning the cat — it was a means, not an end.”
  • On “don’t ask, don’t tell”: “This should not be a par­tis­an is­sue.”
  • “I’ve got to take re­spons­ib­il­ity in terms of mak­ing sure that I make clear to the busi­ness com­munity, as well as to the coun­try, that the most im­port­ant thing we can do is to boost and en­cour­age our busi­ness sec­tor and make sure that they’re hir­ing.”
  • “I’m not re­com­mend­ing for every fu­ture pres­id­ent that they take a shel­lack­ing like I did last night. I’m sure there are easi­er ways to learn these les­sons. But I do think that this is a growth pro­cess.

Here are some high­lights from Pres­id­ent Obama’s post-“shel­lack­ing” press con­fer­ence today, in which he ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment with his party’s show­ing in Tues­day night’s midterm elec­tions and took re­spons­ib­il­ity for voters’ frus­tra­tion with the pace of eco­nom­ic change.

  • On eco­nom­ic pro­gress: “Too many Amer­ic­ans haven’t felt that pro­gress yet, and they told us that yes­ter­day. And as pres­id­ent, I take re­spons­ib­il­ity for that.”
  • “What the Amer­ic­an people don’t want from us, es­pe­cially here in Wash­ing­ton, is to spend the next two years re­fight­ing the polit­ic­al battles of the last two.”
  • “I’m do­ing a whole lot of re­flect­ing, and there are go­ing to be areas in policy where we’re go­ing to have to do a bet­ter job…. I think over the last two years we have made a series of very tough de­cisions, but dis­cus­sions that were right in terms of mov­ing the coun­try for­ward.”
  • On 2008 elec­tion prom­ises to change the way Wash­ing­ton worked: “One of the reas­ons, I think, that people were ex­cited about the cam­paign was the pro­spect that we were go­ing to change how busi­ness is done in Wash­ing­ton. We were in such a hurry to get things done that we didn’t change how things got done, and I think that frus­trated people.”
  • Eric Can­tor today said he wanted to see a morator­i­um on ear­marks con­tin­ue; I think that’s something we can work on to­geth­er.”
  • On the 1099 tax pro­vi­sion in­cluded in the health care bill: “It’s prob­ably coun­ter­pro­duct­ive. It was de­signed to make sure rev­en­ue was raised to pay for oth­er meas­ures.”
  • On see­ing loy­al Demo­crats lose their races: “It feels bad. The toughest thing over the last couple of days is see­ing really ter­rif­ic pub­lic ser­vants not have the op­por­tun­ity to serve any­more…. The cour­age they showed is something I ad­mire so much. I can’t over­state it. There’s not only sad­ness but also a lot of ques­tion­ing on my part as far as, could I have done something dif­fer­ent or something more so that those folks would still be there?”
  • On con­tinu­ing to pur­sue an en­ergy policy: “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skin­ning the cat — it was a means, not an end.”
  • On “don’t ask, don’t tell”: “This should not be a par­tis­an is­sue.”
  • “I’ve got to take re­spons­ib­il­ity in terms of mak­ing sure that I make clear to the busi­ness com­munity, as well as to the coun­try, that the most im­port­ant thing we can do is to boost and en­cour­age our busi­ness sec­tor and make sure that they’re hir­ing.”
  • “I’m not re­com­mend­ing for every fu­ture pres­id­ent that they take a shel­lack­ing like I did last night. I’m sure there are easi­er ways to learn these les­sons. But I do think that this is a growth pro­cess.
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