Barack Obama, Republicans vow cooperation with a dash of defiance
With US mid-term elections turning the tide in favour of the Republicans, President Barack Obama on Wednesday appeared to seek common ground and work together with the rivals for America's prosperity.
Washington: With US mid-term elections turning the tide in favour of the Republicans, President Barack Obama on Wednesday appeared to seek common ground and work together with the rivals for America's prosperity.
However the President struck a defiant note saying he wasn't ready to wait and will “measure ideas not by whether they come from Democrats or Republicans, but by whether they work for the American people".
Despite the chances being high of a rocky road ahead for him in his next two years as the President, Obama said he was ready to chart out a new course for America and was "eager to work with the new Congress to make the next two years as productive as possible".
"The United States of America has big things to do. We can and will make progress if we do it together." —Obama http://t.co/sV85QhOxTY
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 5, 2014
Both Obama and incoming Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell appeared to look forward to working together, however not without injecting a dash of defiance in the wake of differnces that would loom large and might manifest when the new Congress takes over in January with both the legislative chambers in control of the Republicans.
McConnell too denied a possibility of “being in perpetual conflict” with the Democrats and hoped to work with Obama on agreeable things like tax forms and trade agreements.
However, mocking the former Senate dominated by the Democrats, McConnell promised that the Republicans would have “a Senate that actually works"."The Senate in the last few years basically doesn't do anything," he said. "We're going to go back to work and actually pass legislation," he told reporters in Kentucky.
Speaking at a news conference in the White House, Obama first of all addressed the voters who were apparently unhappy with his leadership and had gone to vote for the Republicans, saying, “I hear you”.
"As president, I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work.. So, to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you."
However Obama seemed to downplay the Republicans triumph, glossing over it with a simple “Republicans had a good night” and appeared to defend his last few years as the President tenure by affirming how the US had progresses in last few years and vowed to do everything and give his best to during his final two years as the President.
"I'm going to squeeze every last bit of opportunity to make the world a better place over these last two years." —President Obama
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 5, 2014
"This country has made real progress since the crisis 6 years ago. More Americans are working. More Americans have health insurance...Manufacturing has grown; our deficits have shrunk; our dependence on foreign oil is down; our graduation rates are up," asserted Obama.
Obama appeared to not give much significance to the Republicans' sweeping gains in mid-term elections, saying that the US was much more than a mix of red and blue states, referring to those states of the United States whose residents voted for the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates.
"We are simply more than just a collection of red and blue states." —President Obama
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 5, 2014
In what gave a first indication of tough times ahead in the wake of differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, Obama said he would not weigh an idea depending on where they come from, but by whether they work for the American people.
“Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign. I’m pretty sure I will take some actions that some in Congress will not like,” said Obama touching on the issue of differences between the rivals.
He sounded a tough note when he said he would go ahead with immigration reforms plan by this year end. However, McConnell warned that Obama's unilateral action in this regard would be like "waving a red flag in front of a bull".
This gives one of the first glimpses into the showdown that awaits in the US politics when the new Congress dominated by the Republicans takes over in January.
Riding on a wave of seething discontent among voters, coupled by plummeting approval ratings for President Barack Obama, the Republicans romped to victory in US mid-term elections, winning the Senate for the first time in eight years.
The victory of Republicans in Senate, means now they have an upper edge over Democrats and as they wrest control of both the houses of Congress.
The Republicans' rise in both the houses of Congress also means President Barack Obama will have to suffer tough times ahead in his final two years as the President.