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President Barack Obama said he takes "responsibility" for the Republican-heavy results of the midterm elections and outlined ways in which he thinks his administration could be more "successful" when dealing with the other side of the aisle.
"We got beat," Obama said of Tuesday's results in an interview CBS's "Face the Nation," which aired Sunday but was taped Friday. "As the head of the party, if it doesn't do well, I've got to take responsibility for it," Obama said, adding that the voters "know one person in Washington, and that's the president of the United States."
Obama admitted that sometimes he gets hung up on thinking that if a policy is right, "that's what should matter," but he also knows an important component is effectively presenting the idea to the U.S. people and to the "stubborn" opposition. "We've got to sell it. We've got to reach out to the other side … and I think there are times where I think we have not been successful in going out there," Obama said.
In his last two years in the White House, the president said, he plans to "experiment" with ways to communicate better and reach out to the Republicans "more effectively." A big test of any new strategy on this front will be immigration reform, which Obama decided to delay until after the elections. The president has made it clear he intends to use executive action to make changes in the immigration system to decrease the deportation rate. But in his interview, he said that if the Republicans pass a bill "that addresses the problem," he would change his plans.
"I love this job," Obama said, in the midst of the gridlock, the challenges at home and internationally and his meager approval ratings in his sixth year as president. "I still consider this the best job on Earth, and I'm here to squeeze every ounce of possibility, and the ability to do good, out of this job and these next two years."
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— Elisha Fieldstadt