President Obama is scheduled to give a post-midterm press conference today at 2:50 PM ET from the White House. The big question: Will he give the GOP what it wants—the image of a chastened president with his tail between his legs, begging for cooperation—or will he do what he was reelected to do, which is to be willing to move forward when common ground exists, but also to say no when when Republicans try to push too far? The answer is coming soon during the president's news conference, and we'll provide live updates throughout. Follow along on the front page, join the discussion in the comments, and watch the live stream at the top of this post.
11:57 AM PT (Barbara Morrill): President Obama should appear shortly—a short time ago, we were given the two-minute warning for the start of the press conference.
11:58 AM PT (Barbara Morrill): In pre-press conference chatter, CNN's Jim Acosta said he was curious to see the president's physical reaction to the midterm results...so there's that.
11:58 AM PT (Barbara Morrill): Here comes the president. Good news for Acosta: He appears physically well.
12:00 PM PT (Barbara Morrill): The president begins by saying he's spoken with both Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell, and says everyone has said they plan to work together. He says the message from the election is that voters want everyone in DC "to get the job done."
12:03 PM PT: President Obama says on major indicators, the United States is doing better today than it was in January, 2009 when he took office. But the job isn't done: "We just have to keep at it," he says. "I am committed to making sure that I measure ideas not by whether they come from Democrats or Republicans, but whether they work for the American people." But Obama also says that he is sure Congress will pass bill he "cannot sign" and that he will take "actions" that Congress "will not like." Nonetheless, he says he wants to find common ground when possible. Two examples: Tax reform to increase investment in our infrastructure and exports.
12:05 PM PT: Obama says he is requesting this Congress to provide funds to fight Ebola, an AUMF to fight ISIL, and a spending bill to fund government through the end of the fiscal year, which ends in September 2015. By this Congress, he means the current one, before Republicans take over two months from now.
12:06 PM PT: President Obama isn't necessarily sounding combative here, but he isn't adopting the "I took a shellacking" pose that he did in 2010, at least not in his prepared remarks. Now we're on to questions.
12:08 PM PT: The first question is about the "devastating" election results from last night. The president reminds the questioner that he was elected too—and that he was elected by the whole country. "The key is to find areas where the agenda that I put forward [...] the key is to make sure that the ideas that I have overlap somewhere with ideas that Republicans have. There's not going to be perfect overlap." When there's a disagreement, "I'm going to keep on arguing" for my view, says Obama. Nice.
12:10 PM PT: Says Republicans should "put forward a very specific agenda" and then move forward with him on areas where "we agree." This is definitely not a tail-between-my-legs posture. It's saying that if Republicans will work with me, I'll work with them. But if they won't, I can't.
12:12 PM PT: Again: "The American people are better off than before I was president." 100% correct, and bound to piss off the GOP. And definitely not tail-between-my-legs posture.
12:14 PM PT (Barbara Morrill): New thread here.
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