President Obama held a long, rambling news conference Wednesday to discuss the outcome of the midterm elections, and may have gotten more than he bargained for in a stinging question about being “rejected” by his own party.
With the Republican Party realizing gains across the board, which included taking control of the Senate, CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta went for broke.
“I know you don’t want to read the tea leaves, but it is a fact that your party rejected you in these midterms,” Acosta began. “By and large, they did not want you out on the campaign trail in these key battleground states. How do you account for that?”
What a difference six years makes. But Acosta wasn’t finished, he wanted to know if Obama had anything left in the tank.
“And your aides have said that this is the fourth quarter of your administration, but I don’t know if you saw the morning talk shows, but there were several potential candidates for 2016 who were out there already,” Acosta said. “Is the clock ticking? Are you running out of time? How much time do you have left? And what do you make of the notion that you’re now a lame duck?”
In responding, the president blew right past the part about being rejected by fellow Democrats to deliver a positive spin about “being in charge of the most important organization on earth, the U.S. government.”
“And there’s a lot of work to be done to make government work better, to make Americans safer, to make opportunity available to more people,” Obama said. “For us to be able to have a positive influence in every corner of the globe the way we’re doing right now in West Africa, and I am going to squeeze every last little bit of opportunity to help make this world a better place over these last two years.”
There’s a reason Obama has a reputation for being tone deaf. A reputation he reinforced when ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jon Karl asked if he regretted not doing more “to develop relationships with Republicans in Congress.”
“The fact is that, most of my interactions with members of Congress have been cordial, and they’ve been constructive,” Obama said.
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