After `shellacking,` Obama laments disconnect with voters

Feeling "bad" after an election drubbing, President Barack Obama has acknowledged that his Democrats took "a shellacking" from angry American voters but dismissed the charge that his economic policies are taking country backward.

Updated: Nov 04, 2010, 19:06 PM IST

Washington: Feeling "bad" after an election
drubbing, President Barack Obama has acknowledged that he and
his Democrats took "a shellacking" from angry American voters
but dismissed the charge that his economic policies are taking
the country backward.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, a day after
Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives
and lost ground in the Senate to Republicans, Obama said,
"I feel bad".
He called the election a Democratic "shellacking" and
lamented that "we lost track of the ways we connected with the
folks who got us here in the first place."

"Some election nights are more fun than others," Obama
said, adding that "as president, I take responsibility" for a
failure to restore job growth more quickly. He said he was
eager to sit down with the leaders of both political parties
"and figure out how we can move forward together."

At the same time, he acknowledged that cooperating with
the Republicans won`t be easy.

"It won`t be easy," he said, noting the two parties
differ profoundly in some key areas like tax cuts, debts and
deficits.

Obama also tried to deflect criticism that his economic
policies were driving the US backward.

"It would be hard to argue that we`re going backwards.
I think what you can argue is we`re stuck in neutral. I think
we are not moving the way we need to make sure that folks have
the jobs, have the opportunity, are seeing economic growth in
their communities the way they need to," Obama said.

The President said when he assumed office two years
ago, the economy was in a free fall. "The economy is growing.
We`ve seen nine months of private-sector job growth."
"That`s going to require Democrats and Republicans to
come together and look for the best ideas to move things
forward," he said.

"The American people understand that we`re still
digging our way out of a pretty big mess. So I don`t think
anybody denies they think we`re in a ditch. I just don`t think
they feel like we`ve gotten all the way out of the ditch yet,"
he said.

The President said he has been willing to compromise
in the past and will do so in the future. The energy issue
being one of them, he noted.

Obama said without any Republican support on anything,
it`s going to be hard to get things done.

"But I`m not going to anticipate that they`re not
going to support anything. I think that part of the message
sent to Republicans was: We want to see stronger job growth in
this country," he said.

PTI