tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 6, 2014 5:00am-7:01am EST
the point is very well taken. it's going to take a few days before we know exactly, but it's safe to say they had a heckuva night on that level. when you're having a good night, if no captures were partisan jobs, then democratic dog catchers would've had a really bad night. people who have never been to washington on a school trip got sucked in because of what republicans are doing to democrats in washington. good question. >> a pollster talked about how hard it is for party to win the white house three times in a row. how do you see the atmosphere in 2016, given with obamas unpopularity, on the other hand the demographic advantages the democrats seem to have been residential years. >> that we throw out a couple of things.
you are absolutely right. five times since the end of world war ii a party has had the white house for two consecutive terms. president reagan's approval ratings back in 1988 were very good. democrats in their infinite wisdom nominated michael dukakis, and the rest is history. for 2016, there are couple of things we don't know. history argues that republicans ought to win the presidency in 2016. but the big question is, will they have repaired their brand? will they have repaired some their problems with minority voters, young voters, women voters, self-described moderate voters? i would argue that some of those groups just basically stayed home.
it will be interesting to watch to see whether latino turnout dropped disproportionally, for example, being upset that immigration hasn't gone through and all that. so if republicans address their brand challenges, it will obviously make a difference. obviously also whoever the republican nominee will be. on the other hand, what kind of shape is the democratic brand in? with president obama's job approval ratings in the summer and fall of 2016, how is the affordable care act, is it closer to being up rather than upside down where it has been? what is the economy looking like? not just that, but how do people feel the economy is doing?
technically speaking, unemployment is down below 6%, and at the same time, for a lot of people, as far as they are concerned, their personal economy has turned around. all of these are things that are going to establish what kind of shape the democratic rant is in. it is a great point and one we will all enjoy chewing over for the next two years. it's obviously an important question. over here. >> it is easy to pivot to 2016, but we have two years. we have not seen a lot of action and commonalities. speaking of the premise that the president is unlikely to express any element of culpability for last night, he's going to need to try to get something done to show some achievements in 2016, if nothing else to break up the
boredom of doing nothing. where do you see the issues with the president and the democratic senate, the minority that he has, is willing to give, work, achieved, so it doesn't wind up being more of the same do-nothing? >> we were talking beforehand about mitch mcconnell's victory speech, which didn't sound like a victory speech as much as it actually sounded like the election hadn't been held yet, in the sense that it was sort of what republicans need to do and look for things to work together and all that. we will see how serious he is about that. do they look for some of the common denominator things, like infrastructure, which is obviously huge. there are things that could be
done that art divisive, but at the same time, the big ones, they really are. social security reform, the egghead say he can do that in an afternoon. it's very painful to do that, but medicare, that's a lot more complicated. i just say that stuff is not going to happen. i think the publicans in the long-term interest of the party desperately need to fix their problems with latino voters and they desperately need to reposition themselves somewhat on immigration. if i were a republican strategist, i would have wished the democrats had done it this
past time. the best case for republicans is, immigration reform happens and they don't have to vote for it and picked off the base, and start working on increasing those numbers. in 2004, in the exit polls, president george w. bush got 44% of the latino vote. some political scientist think the exit polls were off and it was closer to 40%, but that's a heck of a lot better than 27% that mitt romney got. that's a question i need to take up with more sleep am a but i think were going to hear more about it. and it will be, what are they willing to do, and do the more conservative elements of the party -- can they come to terms
with the infrastructure, capital spending is not big government, it's just sort of something that kind of needs to happen that nobody else is going to do. they need to get past that point. i have known that guy forever. >> is the democratic get out the vote operation atrophying? >> back in the old days the prehistoric campaign-finance numbers. first, i don't think the democratic get out the vote operation has atrophied. i think republicans have closed the gap.
i think it's just republicans getting back in the game. the other thing is, there has always been a rule of thumb, i don't think it's ever been proven in academic research, but there is a good field operation, they need two percentage points. whether it's two or three or four or whatever. but the thing about it is, you have to be within that range for the ground game to pull you over the top. i think democrats were in a deeper hole than that, so that the field was just simply not able to save them, no matter what they do. take colorado with mark udall. he put together this amazing
operation in 2010 when he was up for his first election. he had been appointed before that, you remember. amazing operation. the thing is, there's no reason whatsoever, and then it is chairman of the ncc, you have to assume that mark udall had a fabulous ground game. i have no reason to think it wasn't. i think they had other problems, other issues. part of it was, maybe there was some strategic miscalculation about being overly dependent on women's and reproductive issues to the exclusion of other issues. and the democrats would certainly say he talked about a
lot of other issues and they ran ads -- they ran ads on other things other than reproductive issues. the thing about it is, implicit in the dependence that democrats have had off late on that women's constellation of issues, it almost implies that that's all that women are interested in. well, no. if a republican -- if the shoe is on the other foot, i think you'd probably say that republicans were condescending to women in thinking of them in such a narrow vein. so there were some issues there. but the tipoff that udall was going to have a really tough race was when ken bock screwed up the last senate race when he was running against bennett.
it looked like he was going to be the nominee against mark udall. when the republicans did a switch to cory gardner, it was clearly a superior candidate to bock. i am not looking forward to meeting him at a reception someplace. anyway, that was a sign that udall had some real problems. again, there is always more than one or two things there. i would argue that colorado, the last few years, if you were going to put the most republican state to the most democratic state, colorado was straddling the 50 yard line more than any
other state in the union. if democrats are having a bomber year, that is a technical political science term, a bummer year, then colorado would drift over that way. i'm sorry? which half? i would say the last half of the tv money. the question was, which half of the money was wasted. let's face it, in television advertising, there is a law of diminishing returns. once you have seen -- i'm making up this number, but once a voter has seen 300 ads for, by, on behalf of a candidate, how much more persuasive will the next 100 be?
the answer is generally not that much. what we are seeing now is candidates -- campaigns that are spending way more than they need to, way more than is optimal, on television. at the same time, some of this other spending is on kind of an embryonic level. they are trying to figure out how to do it effectively. the example i like to use is my daughter, who in 2012 was living in cleveland. ohio was like ground zero for presidential races. she had no cable television, no antenna, she was -- whatever apple tv is, she had that. whatever the hell that is. she drove to work and she was
either listening to npr or listening to music on her i-whatever. if you want to advertise, television, radio, you weren't getting her. digital was basically one of the only ways. there is only -- again, i'm talking way out of my level here -- there is only that much -- are you still over there? no? there is a word, sort of like content. inventory. there is not much inventory available of digital advertising market opportunities, and so we are sort of not there yet. a lot of this tv is way over the top.
but in terms of just -- well, in terms of quantity, but also quality. i think the quality of television political ads is way down from 15, 20 years ago. i think there are a lot of media consultants in both parties -- i think a positive ad is much harder, and effective positive ad is a lot harder to do than a negative ad. there are folks that couldn't do a positive ad if their lives depended on it. they are not filmmakers, they don't have a background in terms of constructing a narrative, being persuasive. it is just slash and burn. >> charlie, i want to ask you a question about your favorite state.
do louisianans say, let's send a senior senator back to have some clout to fight for our issues or do they just help republicans run up the scores? >> that is a great question. i will take both sides of the issue. does mary landrieu have a heck of a challenge? of course she does. where does she pick up votes in a runoff between cassidy and rob manus, the tea party guy? with cassidy getting a lot closer than a lot of us thought would happen, she has got her work cut out for her. no question about it. i think that a case can be made that for landrieu, the worst-case scenario was if the senate were right on the edge and this would become a red-blue vote versus, who do you want to represent louisiana. arguably, she may be advantaged
by that. i think there is a devious path to winning if you are landrieu. what the hell. if i were senate democrats, this is what i would do. i would have somebody set up some baloney organization called louisianans for conservative values or whatever. and cassidy, he is not that conservative, and he is not nearly as conservative as a lot of louisiana republicans would like him to be. in fact -- i know i'm over time, but i will tell you the story anyway. i'm down in louisiana back in march speaking at the school of mass communications at lsu.
anyway, i give a talk and speak to some classes. this young man comes up to me afterwards and waits until all the other students have drifted away. he says, i'm volunteering for the cassidy campaign. he's practically whispering. it wasn't with a loud voice. it was like he was confessing having herpes or something. i asked him, why are you whispering? he said, conservatives have a hard time -- he's not conservative enough for most republicans down here. i'm thinking, that is why he has an excellent chance of winning. because he's not over the top. but anyway, if i were senate
democrats, i would create all kinds of mischief, pulling various things to show that he's not one of us, he's not conservative enough. conservatives say this, but when you saw -- and this is different but tells you how this stuff can work effectively -- you saw senate democrats effectively nominate -- in indiana, yeah -- missouri, i mean. todd akin, thank you. this is where the sleep deprivation is kicking in. they ran tv ads. todd akin is too conservative for missouri. in a republican primary, they
effectively moved the nomination away from the two republicans that might very well have beaten claire mccaskill and pulled it over here where they affected the outcome of the primary. that shows how sometimes parties can be very effective in doing some interesting little jujitsu things. she has an uphill fight. i would guess cassidy has got a 70% chance of winning that runoff. but i kind of thing she is better off not having the senate on the line. then, that would have just been a party vote. i'm getting the hook. it says wrap up. anyway, on the way out the door, marty, thank you very much for sponsoring this.
and thank you all for participating. you had an impressive panel. we had some really great people here all morning. thank you very much for coming to hear us. [applause] >> thank you, charlie. we were glad to have you all here this morning. thank you so much for joining us. i want to thank paul pomerantz and the american society of anesthesiologists for making today possible. i hope you all have a wonderful day. ♪ >> house speaker john boehner will hold a news compress to talk about tuesday's elections and the new congress. we will have live coverage today at 1:15 eastern.
on c-span 2 cq roll call will hold a forum. that is live at 8:00 a.m. eastern. american-span 3, the enterprise institute will hold a discussion on the midterm elections and look at what the gop takeover of the senate means for the future of the obama presidency. live coverage at noon eastern. >> here are just a few of the comments we have recently received from our viewers. >> calling to tell you how much i enjoy q&a at 5:00 on sunday. in my house.ops i turn off my phones, i get my cup of coffee. >> i think yesterday was very informative. i enjoyed listening to him in the comments. living in the
middle east, he was accurate and on point. ownas not using his personal innuendos. i greatly enjoyed it . i hope you have more guess like on targethe was right this morning. >> i am calling to say that i ple c-span isny peo wonderful, but as to criticism -- i'm a very partisan kind of person but i think you all do a tremendous job of showing just about every side of everything and the way that people look at things in d.c. and elsewhere. i take my hat off to you. >> continue to let us know what you think. call us, e-mail us. or you acan send us a tweet. c-span conversation.
like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. rncp next, the chair of the talks about tuesday's election results. he's joined by the heads of the republican, senate, and house campaign committees. this is a 20 minute portion of wednesday's news conference. last night was a big night for republican and this is a great day for the country. i want to start by saying thank you to the voters for putting your trust in the republican party. thank you to our volunteers and supporters that made last night's possible. to our incredible
staff in washington dc and across the country, including our data team who were spot on last night. we had a decisive win in the senate. it was a clear defeat for harry reid's dysfunctional leadership. his refusal to allow votes in the senate in order to protect incumbents backfired and actually insured their defeat. next month, we're going to add to our majority when we win louisiana. in the senate, it was a night of important first. joni ernst becomes the first female combat veteran in the senate and the first woman in congress from iowa. tom cotton will be the youngest member of the senate, shelley moore capital will be the first woman elected to the senate from west virginia. tim scott the comes the first african-american elected to both the house and senate. in the house, we don't know how big the majority will be but it will be a majority bigger than most of us have seen in our lifetimes.
we are proud to see me a love when in utah, will love in texas. and in new york, the youngest woman ever elected to congress. i will let greg talk about those games that are unbelievable historic. americans affirmed their leadership of republican governors. in the bluest of blue states, they rejected democrats in maryland, massachusetts him and in illinois. even the president's home state where he campaigned vigorously elected a republican. that is how big this victory really is. finally, the state house, republicans captured many of the state legislative chambers including the nevada senate and the assembly, the west virginia house, the minnesota house, the new mexico house, the colorado senate, and the new hampshire house. we have the largest number of republican chambers seats held in history, so it was a historic
night. this was all about a direct rejection of the obama agenda. as all of you know, president obama said clearly that his policies were on the ballot and voters were very clear in return. they want nothing to do with the policies of barack obama and hillary clinton. these were the president's candidates. and they lost. remember hillary clinton? hillary cannot even say the democrat in the massachusetts governor's race. we won in red states, we one in blue states, we one in purple states.
we want because our policies resonated with the electorate, our ground game mobilize voters,and our candidates connected with the american people. we made sure to to decision to prioritize low propensity voters. we one with our new strategy and we need the other side at their own game. i want to congratulate all of our candidates and our partners up here with me today. senator moran who did an unbelievably great job with the mrsc. boyd rutherford in the maryland the tenant race. >> it was a historic night for the republican party and i will
the state level, both in the number of chambers and the number of seats that we control going into more detail right away. voters across the country, blue states and red states, purple states spoke very clearly that they want the policies that republicans are implemented across the board. this has one hand to do it the policies that they are implementing and the candidates espousing those policies. we made a special effort to recruit and get elected more diverse and female candidates across the country and we also broke some ceilings there. before last night, the old-time
republican high was 64 chambers and that was back in 1920. now, republicans will hold a super majority across the country, somewhere between 67-69 chambers, the numbers are still pouring in so we will have more details later on. we appear to be on track to eclipse an all republican high of 4001 republican state legislative seats held back in 1928. we picked up actually in nevada senate, the nevada assembly, west virginia house, minnesota house, colorado senate, new mexico house, new hampshire house, and we are ahead in the race for the main senate and the colorado house which both are too close to call. the west virginia senate, we have's live control of 17 each.
we had super majorities in states like california, maryland. with the newly formed initiative, we had tremendous success last night. i would also like to talk about the fact and i want to commend our chairman, the other two chairs for the work they did. we are winning across the country also at the state level and we are asked bending the map to victory in more than one way in years to come. by expanding our majority in all competitive great lakes states, that whole 64 electoral votes, if you add that to the 2012 romney states, we did extremely well out in the west. i would like to add one more thing. we are electing a fully diverse group of candidates. they identified and helped 244
new diverse candidates across the country. some of these candidates actually have made a difference. -- in west virginia, the west virginia house. -- in the colorado senate. kerry lewis in the pennsylvania house. victoria seaman in the virginia house. -- in the new york senate. and becky harris and the nevada senate.
in california, -- helped to end the senate super majority democrats had. the voters elected at least 12 statewide female governors and secretary of state. that will include john sanchez, boyd rutherford, and diana durham. we elected the only african-american the tenant of and are from either party. they were favored by voters to great job, get america growing and moving ahead again. more choice in education, more opportunities for everyone. >> a great night and a great tie.
we ran a ducks offense at the house. what you heard my colleagues talk about is how the republican party is back, we are back with youth, we are back with adversity, we are back with women and we have a long way to go, but we have made great gains. if you look at the house races versus the senate, we were predominately in blue territory. these were believed districts we were competing in and we won. we had good talented candidates at the republicans in those districts nominated. barack obama's agenda was on the ballot, it was a referendum, it is a storage in its nature. we are as big as a majority as any of us have seen.
as i stand before you, we have still not counted martha -- race yet. she is up 37 votes or something. we think that she will likely gain votes this time and become the first combat fighter pilot woman in american history and to also become a member of congress. california, we think doug ose he will win that seat and add to the number we have on the board right now and there are a couple of other seats in play in california that are too close to call. it was a huge night. we also know we have to get to work doing the governing peace. our party will be measured by how we govern and that is what americans have elected us to do and we are eager to get to that work. i will handed over to my colleague jerry grant. >> thank you very much, congratulations on your success.
mr. chairman, thank you for the success that we all had come especially for the health that you provided all of us as we went into the 2014 election. we recruited and encouraged great candidates to one. those candidates did run. we educated and trained them in their efforts to succeed and they succeeded. there is a clear message to republicans in the future of who our candidates are matter and they need to be people who are capable of appealing to the voters in the state in which they are seeking to represent. i am so encouraged by what has transpired so far, we actually a way to the outcome of alaska but it appears very clear that there will be a new republican senator from that state and i would tell you that we spent the morning gearing up for the runoff to
occur in louisiana on december the sixth. we will take nothing for granted in louisiana and it will be front and center for the and rsc as we engage now for a little bit less than the next month. i think when it comes to governing, we are already at work and have been for months as republican senators have in the conversation that if the american people trust us one more time to be a majority, what would that mean? the messages that i take from last night election as far as senate races is really twofold. one is that the president, as he indicated, his policies are on the voters minds, they were given the opportunity to confirm, to ratify those policies or to reject them and there is a clear message that in many instances those policies are not popular with the american people. what this says to me when people say are you willing to reach out and find common ground, we certainly are but means the
president, he has now seen the popularity of his programs is not there and therefore it is incumbent upon the president of the united states to work with members of congress to find a different solution to the problems and challenges our country faces. secondly and equally important in my view is the message that voters sent, we are so tired of the inability of the u.s. senate to function. there will be debate that happens. they had the ability to argue and debate. what i think what americans see from the senate, i've been a member of the senate. the decision was made by the leader. he told me my first conversation with senator reid that i needed to understand that we weren't going to do anything, we are not going to do anything until after the next election. the problem with that is that after the next election. there is a second clear message from the american people that we
reject that kind of leadership that says we are not going to do anything. it is now incumbent upon us as republican senators in the majority to demonstrate that we have the capability of working together as republicans but also working together with our democratic colleagues to find solutions to the country's problems. it is important for us to do that politically, for the 2016 elections including the next set of senate elections. it's important for us to do that in the 2016 presidential race. much more importantly than the politics of 2016, it is important what the u.s. senate to function.
look forward to working with all of my colleagues, all 99 other colleagues to compass that. i would say our candidates which we write about so much, there is not a candidate who ran in last night's election who wants to come here and do nothing. workwant to come here, together, solve problems, and move the country in a different direction than where we have been going, but to make certain the future is bright for americans >> let me take some questions. a related question for the congressman and for the senator. related to last night, you talked about several new women that were elected. a fairly small number of new republican women elected. less than 10% female. are you satisfied? >> no. say the all, ice would
women that are coming in, very talented. they will help us grow the women members we have. begun. only just there is a lot of work to do. to diversify our party, grow our party, but you think about we just one seats from maine to american samoa. we may pick up san diego. and in florida. progress, butbig we have to continue -- we are going to have to focus on recruiting good women candidates to run, helping them get into office. we are committed to that fully. we're building that up. >> on a follow-up, on the senate, you mentioned after the next election there is always at the next election. senators in 2015 are republicans, many in swing states. there is a danger of overreach at any point.
obamacare. that beigng overreach. attempted to convey is that the message that was delivered to us as we expect to have policies that are put in place that the american people toport and we expect you work together to a come push that. and i think that means that those kinds of things we would start with what i would say is very much the basics. how about the united states senate abiding by the law that says we will pass a budget? how about the normal things that used a happening congress in which we would past 12 appropriation bills to fill in the blanks? it gives us a great opportunity to demonstrate we can govern and set the stage for a successful 2016. >> a reminder, you can watch all of our programs in their entirety at c-span.org. up next, president obama gives
his take on the midterm elections. we will give more analysis on this morning's "washington journal." later this morning, a white house medal of honor ceremony. this weekend on the c-span networks, friday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span, more reaction to the midterm elections. on saturday night at 8:00, i debate on the future of the internet. and sunday evening on q&a, tavis smiley on his latest book "death of a king." and fighting at 8:00, amherst college of professor ronald ross bottom on german occupied paris during world war ii. on afterwards, the author jeff chang. 10:00,day night at edward wilson, winner of two pulitzer prizes, on what makes us human and different to other species. honor night, medal of
recipients reflect on their service in world war ii, vietnam, and afghanistan. saturday at 8:00, the social 1 phasee immigrants 1900's.he90 let us know what you think. or send us ail us, tweet. join the c-span conversation. like us on facebook, follow us on twitter. president obama said in a news conference he understands the frustration of voters who gave control of the senate to republicans. he was asked whether the election was a repudiation of his policies. from the east room, this is an hour and 10 minutes.
>> good afternoon, everybody. have a seat. today, i had a chance to speak with john boehner and congratulated mitch mcconnell on becoming the next senate majority leader. i told them both that i look forward to finishing up this congress's business and then working together for the next two years to advance american business. look forward to the prospect of working together. i look forward to hosting the entire republican and democratic leadership at the white house on friday to chart a new course forward. republicans had a good night. they deserve credit for their campaigns. i will leave it to all of you that's what stands out to me is the american people send a message. one they have sent for several elections. they expect the people they
elect to work as hard as they do and expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. they want us to get the job done. all of us in both parties have a responsibility to address that sentiment. still, as president, i have a unique responsibility to try to make this town work. i hear you. we had to give americans more reason to feel that the ground is stable beneath their feet. the future is secure. there is a path for young people to succeed. and folks here in washington are concerned about them. i plan on spending every moment of the next two years doing my job the best i can to keep this country safe and make sure that
more americans share in its prosperity. this country has made real progress since the crisis six years ago. the fact is more americans are working. unemployment has come down. more americans have health insurance. manufacturing has grown. our deficits have shrunk. our dependences on foreign oil is down, as are gas prices. our graduation rates are up. businesses aren't just creating jobs at the fastest pace since the 1990's, our economy is outpacing most of the world. but we just got to keep at it until every american feels the gains of a growing economy where it matters most, and that is in their own lives. obviously much of this will take action from congress. i'm eager to work with the new congress to make the next two years as productive as possible. i measure ideas not whether they are from democrats or
republicans, but whether they work for the american people. that is not to say that we won't disagree over some issues that we are passionate about, we will. congress will pass some bills i cannot sign. i'm pretty sure i'll take some actions that some in congress will not like. that is natural. that is how a democracy works. we will find ways to work on issues where there is broad commitment among the american people. i will offer my ideas. i will offer areas where you can respond together to economic needs. take one example. we all agree on the need to create more jobs to pay well. both parties have been for jobs, recreating the infrastructure. roads, bridges, ports, waterways. we can hone in on a way to pay for it through tax reform that
closes loopholes. we could also work together to grow our exports and open new markets for our manufacturers to sell more american made goods through the rest of the world. we share the same aspirations for our young people and i was encouraged that this year republicans agreed to investments that expanded early childhood education. i think we have a chance to do more on that front. we have some common ideas to help more young people afford college and graduate without crippling debt so they have the freedom to fill the good jobs of tomorrow and buy their first homes and start a family. and in the five states where a minimum wage increase is on the ballot voters went 5-5 to increase it. that will give about 325,000 americans a raise in states where republican candidates prevailed.
so that should give us new reason to get it done for everybody with a national increase in the minimum wage. so those are some areas where i think we have some real opportunities to cooperate. i'm eager to hear republican ideas for what they think we can do together the next couple of years. there is still business that needs attention this year. there are things we can work on before the congress wraps up for the holidays. i'm submitting a request for funding to ensure that doctors, scientists, and troops have resources they need to combat the spread of ebola in africa and to increase our preparedness for future cases here at home. second, i will begin engaging congress over a new authorization to use military force against isil. the world needs to know we are united behind this effort and the men and women of our military deserve our clear and
unified support. third, back in september congress passed short-term legislation to keep the government open and operating into december. that gives congress five weeks to pass a budget for the rest of the fiscal year. when our companies are steadily creating jobs which they are we don't want to inject any new uncertainty into the world and the american economy. the point is, it is time for us to take care of business. there are things this country has to do that can't wait another two years or another four years. there are plans the country has to put in place for our future. and the truth is i'm optimistic about our future. i have good reason to be. i meet americans across the country who are determined and big hearted and ask what they can do and never give up. and overcome obstacles.
and they inspire me every single day. so, the fact is i still believe in what i said when i was first elected six years ago last night. all of the maps plastered across the tv screens today and for all of the cynics who say otherwise. i believe we are more than a collection of red and blue states. we are the united states. and whether it is immigration or climate change or making sure our kids are going to the best possible schools to making sure that our communities are creating jobs, whether it is stopping the spread of terror and disease, to opening up doors of opportunity to everybody who is willing to work hard and take responsibility, the united states has big things to do. we can and we will make progress if we do it together. and i look forward to the work ahead. so with that, let me take some questions. i think that our team got my
list and we will start with julie at associated press. >> thank you, mr. president. you said during this election that while your name wasn't on the ballot your policies were. and despite the optimism that you are expressing here, last night was a devastating night for your party. do you feel a responsibility to recalibrate your agenda and what changes do you need to make to address the concerns that voters expressed with your administration? >> well, as i said in my opening remarks, the american people overwhelmingly believe that this town doesn't work well and it is not attentive to their needs. as president, they rightly hold me accountable to do more to make it work properly. i'm the guy who is elected by everybody, not just from a particular state or a particular district, and they want me to push hard to close some of these
divisions, break through some of the gridlock and get stuff done. so the most important thing i can do is just get stuff done and help congress get some things done. in terms of agenda items, julie, if you look -- as i just mentioned, to a minimum wage increase, for example, that is something i talked about a lot during the campaign where voters had a chance to vote directly on that agenda item they voted for it. and so i think it would be hard to suggest that people aren't supportive of it. we know that the surveys consistently say they want to see that happen. that the key is to find areas where the agenda that i put forward one that i believe will help strengthen the middle class and create more ladders of opportunity into the middle class and improve our schools and make college more affordable to young people and make sure that we are growing faster as an economy, the key is to make sure that the ideas that i have
overlap somewhere with the ideas that that the republicans have. there will be some ideas that i have got that i think the evidence backs up would be good for the economy. and republicans disagree. they are not going to support those ideas, but i will keep on arguing for them because i think they are the right thing for the country to do. there are going to be some ideas that they have got that they believe that will improve the economy or create jobs that from my perspective isn't going to help middle class families improve their economic situation. so i probably won't support theirs. but i do think there will be areas where we do agree on infrastructure and making sure that we are boosting american exports. and part of my task then is to reach out to republicans, make sure that i'm listening to them. i'm looking forward to them
putting forward a very specific agenda in terms of what they would like to accomplish. let's compare notes in terms of what i'm looking at and what they are looking at. and let's get started on those things where we agree. even if we don't agree 100%, let's get started on those things where we agree 70%, 80%, 90%. and if we can do that and build up some trust and improve how processes work in washington, then i think that is going to give the american people a little bit more confidence that in fact their government is looking after them. >> [inaudible question from the gallery] >> julie, i think -- every single day i'm looking for how can we do what we need to do
better. whether that is delivering basic services the government provides to the american people, whether that is our capacity to work with congress so that they are passing legislation, whether it is how we communicate with the american people about what our priorities and vision is, we are constantly asking ourselves questions about, you know, how do we make sure that we are doing a better job. that is not going to stop. every election is a moment for reflection, and i think that everybody in the white house is going to look and say all right, what do we need to do differently. but the principles that we are fighting for the things that motivate me every single day and my staff every single day, those things aren't going to change. there will be a consistent focus on how do we deliver more
opportunity to more people in the country. how do we grow the economy faster. how do we put more people back to work. and i maybe have a naive confidence that if we continue to focus on the american people and not on our own ambitions or image or various concerns like that, that at the end of the day when i look back i will be able to say the american people are and that is my most important goal. so, but the other thing i just want to emphasize is i have said this before and i want to reiterate it, if there are ideas that the republicans have that i have confidence will make things better for ordinary americans, the fact that the republicans suggesting it as opposed to a democrat, that will be irrelevant to me.
i want to see what works. some things like rebuilding the infrastructure or early childhood education that we know works. i'm hoping that the kind of attitude and approach that mitch mcconnell and john boehner expressed their desire to get things done allows us to find some common ground. jeff mason? >> thank you, mr. president. >> thank you, mr. president. in 2010 you called the results of the midterm election a shellacking. what do you call this? and can you give us an update on your feelings about the immigration executive order and result in the aftermath of the election? does the election affect your plans to release it? is it likely to come out before the lame duck session is over, and how do you reduce the scope to just a million people? >> as i said in the opening statement, no doubt that the republicans had a good
night. we will make sure what we do is to reach out to mitch mcconnell and john boehner who are now running both chambers in congress and find out what their agenda is. and my hope is that they have got some specific things they want to do that correspond with some things that we want to get done. what is most important to the american people right now, the resounding message not just of this election but basically the last several is get stuff done. don't worry about the next lection. don't worry about party affiliation. do worry about our concerns. worry about the fact that i'm a single mom and at the end of the month it is hard for me to pay the bills in part because i have these huge childcare costs. worry about the fact that i'm a young person qualified to go to college but i'm worried about taking $50,000 a year out in debt and i don't know how i
will pay that back. do worry about the fact that i'm a construction worker who has been working all my life and there is construction work that should be done but for some reason projects are stalled. if we are thinking about those folks, i think we will hopefully be able to get some stuff done. in terms of immigration, i have consistently said it is my preference to see congress act on a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would strengthen our borders, would streamline our legal immigration system so that it works and we are attracting the best and brightest from around the world and that we give an opportunity for folks who live here in many cases for a very long time, may have kids who are u.s. citizens, but aren't properly documented.
give them a chance to pay their back taxes, get in the back of the line but get through a process that allows them to get legal. the senate on a bipartisan basis passed a good bill. it wasn't perfect. it wasn't exactly what i wanted but it was a sound, smart piece of legislation that really would greatly improve not just our immigration system but our economy and would improve business conditions here in the united states. and make sure that american born workers aren't undercut by workers who are undocumented nd aren't always paid a fair wage and as a consequence employers who are breaking the rules are able to undercut folks who are doing the right thing. we got a bipartisan bill out of the senate. i asked john boehner at that point can we pass this through the house? is there a majority of votes in the house to get this
passed? and speaker boehner i think was incere about wanting to pass it but had difficulty over the last year trying to get it done. so when he finally told me he wasn't going to call it up this year, what i indicated to him is i feel obliged to do everything i can lawfully with my executive authority to make sure that we don't keep on making the system worse, but that whatever executive actions that i take will be replaced and supplanted by actions by ongress. that is a commitment i made not ust to the american people and to the business and evangelical community and law enforcement folks and everybody who has looked at this issue and thinks that we need immigration reform. that is a commitment that i made to john boehner i would act in the absence of action by
congress. before the end of the year we are going to take whatever lawful actions that i can take that i believe will improve the functioning of our immigration system that will allow us to surge additional resources to the border where i think the vast majority of americans have the deepest concern. and at the same time, i will be reaching out to both mitch mcconnell, john boehner and other republican and democratic leaders to find out how it is that they want to proceed. and if they want to get a bill done, whether it is during the lame duck or next year i'm eager to see what they have to offer. what i'm not going to do is just wait. i think it is fair to say that i have shown a lot of patience and have tried to work on a bipartisan basis as much as ossible. and i'm going to keep on doing
so. but in the meantime, let's figure out what we can do lawfully through executive actions to improve the functioning of the existing system. >> if you want to get into the etails of it, i suspect that when i announce that executive action it will be rife with detail and i'm sure there will be a lot of follow-up questions. hris jansen? >> thank you, mr. president. i want to follow up on a couple of things and start with immigration. and are you concerned that if you sign an executive order on immigration before the end of the year it will scuttle whatever chances there may be for there to be some sort of
compromise on the issues that you talked about? >> i wonder given the unhappy electorate why they publish the republicans versus the democrats by far? >> when it comes to the analysis, that is your job. what is also true is i am the president of the united states and understandably people are going to ask for greater accountability and more responsibility from me than from anybody else in this town. appropriately so. and i welcome that. and the commitment that i will make to the american people and the way i have tried to conduct myself throughout this presidency is i will wake up every single day doing my absolute best to deliver for them. there are areas where we have made real progress. i think economically i can look back and there is no doubt that
on almost every measure we are better off economically than we were when i took office. but what is also true is there is still a lot of folks out there who are anxious and hurting and having trouble making ends meet or are worried about their children's future and it is my job to give them some confidence that this town can work to respond to some of those worries that folks have. and we haven't done a good enough job convincing them of that and i understand that. if they have been watching washington over the last two, four years what they have seen s a lot of arguing and a lot of gridlock but not a lot of concrete actions at least legislatively that have made a difference in their lives. and so we have got to make sure that we do a better job. and i'm committed to doing that. on immigration, i know that concerns have been expressed if
you do something through executive actions even if it is within your own authorities that that will make it harder to pass immigration reform. i just have to remind everybody, i have heard that argument now for a couple of years. this is an issue i actually wanted to get done in my first term and we didn't see legislative action. and in my second term i made it my top legislative priority. we got good work done by a bipartisan group of senators and it froze up in the house. i think that the best way if folks are serious about getting immigration reform done is go ahead and pass the bill. and get it to my desk. and then the executive actions that i take go away. they are superseded by the law that has passed. and i will engage any member of congress who is interested in this in how we can shape
legislation that will be a significant improvement over the existing system. but, what we can't do is just keep on waiting. there is a cost to waiting. there is a cost to our economy. it means that resources are misallocated. when the issue of unaccompanied children cropped up during the summer, there was a lot of folks who perceived this as a major crisis in our immigration system. now the fact is that those numbers have now come down and they are approximately where they were a year ago or two years ago or a year before that. but it did identify a real problem in a certain portion of the border where you got to get ore resources. but, those resources may be misallocated separating families right now that most of us, most americans would say probably we would rather have them just pay their back taxes,
pay a fine, learn english, get to the back of the line but we will give you a pathway where you can be legal in this country. so where i have got executive authorities to do that we should get started on that. but i want to emphasize once again, if in fact republican leadership wants to see an immigration bill passed they now have the capacity to pass it and hopefully engaging with me and democrats in both the house and the senate it is a bill that i can sign because it addresses the real concerns that are out there. and the sooner they do it from my perspective, the better. johnathan carl? >> thank you, mr. president. mitch mcconnell has been the republican leader for six years, as long as you have been president. his office tells me that he has only met with you one on one once or twice through the six year period. as somebody who came to washington promising to end the
yperpartisanship, it was a mistake to do so little to develop relationships with the republicans in congress? >> i think that every day i'm asking myself are there some things i can do better. and i will keep on asking that every single day. the fact is that most of my interactions with members, most of my interactions with congress cordial and constructive. oftentimes we haven't been able to get what is discussed in a leadership meeting through -- through caucuses in the house and the senate to deliver a ill. the good news is that now mitch mcconnell and john boehner are from the same party. i think they can come together
and decide what their agenda is. they have sufficient majorities to make real progress on some of these issues. and you know, i'm certainly going to be spending a lot more time with them now because that is the only way that we will be able to get some stuff done. and i take them at their word that they want to produce. they are in the majority. they need to present their agenda. i need to put forth my best ideas. i think the american people will be able to watch us and they are paying attention to see whether or not we are serious about actually compromising and being constructive. and my commitment to them, and i said this when i spoke to them, is that anywhere where we can find common ground i'm eager to pursue it. >> are you going to have the drink with mitch mcconnell that you joked about at the white house dinner? >> i would enjoy having some
kentucky bourbon with mitch mcconnell. i don't know what his preferred drink is, but -- my interactions with mitch mcconnell. he has always been very straightforward with me. to his credit, he has never made a promise that he couldn't deliver and he knows the legislative process well. he obviously knows his caucus well. he has always given me i think realistic assessments of what he can get through his caucus and what he can't. and so i think we can have a productive relationship. >> bill manning. >> thank you, mr. president. another deadline coming up is your negotiators by november 24 have to figure out if they will reach a deal with iran on a nuclear agreement.
i'm interested what your current perspective is on how the negotiations are going? also, if it is your feeling that you have the power to implement any type of agreement that is reached without any action from congress? and then also wanted to quickly touch on the aumf. is that going to be more of a codification of the limits that you put in place for the mission up to this point? or what should we be looking for on that when you send it to the hill? thank you. >> on aumf, the leaders will be coming here on friday. it will be an expanded group, not just the four leaders but a larger group who all have an interest in the issues we are discussing today. and i'm actually going to invite lloyd austin the cencom commander to make a presentation about how our fight against isil is proceeding. and i think to answer questions and assure that congress is
fully briefed on what we are doing there. with respect to the aumf, we already had conversations with members of both parties in congress and the idea is to right-size and update whatever authorization congress provides to suit the current fight rather than previous fights. in 2001, after the heartbreaking tragedy of 9/11 we had a specific set of missions that we had to conduct and the aumf was designed to pursue those missions. with respect to iraq there was a specific aumf. we now have a different type of enemy. the strategy is different, how we partner with iraq and other gulf countries and the international coalition that has to be structured differently so it makes sense for us to make sure that the
authorization from congress reflects what we perceive to be not just our strategy over the next two or three months but our strategy going forward. nd it will be a process of listening to members of congress as well as us presenting what we think needs to be the set of authorities that we have. and i'm confident we will be able to get that done. and that may just be a process of us getting it started now. it may carry over into the next congress. on iran, because of the unprecedented sanctions that we put in place that really did have a crippling effect on iran's economy, they have come to the table and they have negotiated seriously around providing assurances that they are not developing a nuclear weapon for the first time and
they have abided by the interim rules. we have been able to freeze their program, in some cases reduce the stockpile of nuclear material that they already had in hand and the discussions and the negotiations have been constructive. the international community has been unified and cohesive. even countries where we have differences like russia have agreed with us and have worked with us cooperatively in trying to find ways to make sure that we can verify and have confidence going forward that iran doesn't have the capacity to develop a nuclear weapon that could not only threaten friends of ours like israel and trigger a nuclear arms race in the region but could over the long term potentially threaten us. whether we can actually get a deal done, we will have to find out over the next three to four weeks. we have presented to them a
framework that would allow them to meet their peaceful energy needs and if in fact what their leadership says that they don't want to develop a nuclear weapon, if that is in fact true they have an avenue here to provide that assurance to the world community and in a progressive step-by-step verifiable way allow them to get out from under sanctions so that they can re-enter as full fledged members of the international community. but they have their own politics and there is a long tradition of mistrust between the two countries and there is a sizeable portion of the political elite that can cut its teeth on antiamericannism and still finds it convenient to blame america for every ill
hat there is, and whether they can manage to say yes to what clearly would be better for iran, better for the region, and better for the world, is an open question. we'll find out over the next several weeks. >> sir, if the -- on whether or not you have power unilaterally to relax sanctions to implement n agreement? >> there are a series of different sanctions. multilateral, u.n. sanctions, sanctions that have been imposed by us, this administration unilaterally and i think it is different for each of those areas. but i don't want to put the cart before the horse. what i want to do is see if we, in fact, have a deal. if we do have a deal that i have confidence will prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon and that we can convince the world and the public will prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon, then it will be
time to engage in congress and i think we will be able to make a strong argument to congress this is the best way to avoid a nuclear iran. it will be more effective than any other alternatives we would take including military action. i would rather have no deal than a bad deal. what we don't want to do is lift sanctions and provide iran legitimacy but not have the verifiable mechanisms to make sure that they don't break up and produce a nuclear weapon. ed henry? i missed you uys. i haven't done this in awhile. >> i missed you. thank you, mr. president. i haven't heard you -- i haven't heard you say a specific thing during the news conference that you would do differently. you have been asked it a few different ways. i understand you said you are going to reach out. almost like you are doubling
down on the same policies and approach you had for six years. why not pull a page from the clinton playbook and admit you have to make a much more dramatic shift in course for the last two years? and on isis, it was a pretty dramatic setback in the last few days with it appearing the syrian rebels routed, gitmo detainees who rejoined the battlefield helping isis and other terror groups is the report. my question is, are we winning? >> i think it is too early to say whether we are "winning" because as i said at the outset of the isil campaign, this is going to be a long-term plan to solidify the iraqi government, to solidify their security forces, to make sure that in addition to our air cover that they have the capacity to run a ground game that pushes isil back from some of the
territories that they had taken, that we have a strong international coalition that we have now built but that they are on the ground providing the training, providing the equipment, providing the supplies that are necessary for iraqis to fight on behalf of their territory. and what i also said was that in syria that is complicated and that is not going to be solved any time soon. our focus in syria is not to solve the entire syria situation, but rather to isolate the areas in which isil can operate and there is no doubt that because of the extraordinary bravery of our men and women in uniform and the precision of our pilots and strikes that have taken place that isil is in a more vulnerable position and it is more difficult for them to maneuver than it was previously. there is a specific issue about trying to get a moderate
opposition in syria that can serve as a partner with us on the ground. that has always been the hard effort piece of business to get done. there are a lot of opposition groups from syria along a spectrum from radical jihadists who are our enemies to folks who believe in democracy and everything in between. they fight among each other. they are fighting the regime. and what we are trying to do is to find a core group that we can work with that we have confidence in that we vetted that can help in regaining territory from isil and then ultimately serve as a responsible party to sit at the table in eventual political negotiations that are probably some ways off in the future.
that has always been difficult. as you know, one of the debates has consistently been should the obama administration provide more support to the opposition? could that have averted some of the problems taking place in syria? and as i have said before, part of the challenge is, it is a messy situation. it is not a situation where we have one single unified broad-based effective reliable -- let me answer the question, ed. and so what we are going to continue to test is can we get a more stable effective cohesive moderate opposition. but that is not the sole measure of whether we are quote, unquote, winning or not. our first focus, ed, here is to drive isil out of iraq. and what we are doing in syria is first and foremost in service of reducing isil's capacity to resupply and send
troops and then run back over the syrian border to eventually re-establish a border between iraq and syria so that slowly iraq regains control of its security and its territory. that is our number one mission. that is our number one focus. there are aspects of what is going on in syria that we have got to deal with in order to reduce -- our support for kurds in kobane, that is not just because we are trying to solve a syria problem. that is also because it gives us an opportunity to further weaken isil to meet our number one mission which is iraq. in terms of things to do differently, i guess, ed, the question you are asking is one ctually i think i have
answered. if you are asking about personnel, if you are asking about position on issues or what have you, then it is probably premature because i want to hear what -- >> something about the -- >> ed, what i would like to do s to hear from the republicans to find out what it is that they would like to see happen. and what i'm committing to is making sure that i am open to working with them on the issues that where they think that there is going to be cooperation. now, that isn't a change because i suggested to them before that where they think there is area of cooperation i would like to see us get some things done. but the fact that they now control both chambers of congress i think means that perhaps they have more confidence, that they can pass
their agenda and get a bill on my desk. it means that negotiations end up perhaps being a little more real because they have larger majorities for example in the house and may be to get some things through their caucuses that they couldn't before. but the bottom line to the american people want to know that up -- and that i'm going to repeat here today is that my number one goal, because i'm not running again, i'm not on the ballot. i don't have any further political aspirations -- my number one goal is just to deliver as much as i can for the american people in the last two years. and wherever i see an opportunity no matter how large or how small to make it a little easier for a kid go to college. make it a little more likely
that somebody is finding a good paying job. make it a little more likely that somebody has high quality healthcare. even if i'm not getting a whole loaf i'm interested in getting whatever legislation we can get passed that adds up to improved prospects and an improved future for the american people. sam stein? >> thank you, mr. president. following the elections, congressional republicans are pushing for major reforms to the healthcare act. in the past you said you don't want to undermine -- can you tell us what specific ideas you are ruling out? have the election results changed your calculus on reforming the law? and how confident heading into the second enrollment period? and on a totally unrelated matter, have you settled on a nominee to replace attorney general eric holder? and if so, who is it? >> you want to spread out your news a little bit, don't you?
you don't want it all in just one big bang. on the attorney general we have a number of outstanding candidates who we're taking a look at now, and in due course i will have an announcement and you'll be there, sam, when that's announced. but i'm confident that we will find somebody who is well qualified and will elicit the confidence of the american people and will uphold their constitutional obligations of rule of law and will get confirmed by the senate. on healthcare, there are certainly some lines i'm going to draw. repeal of the law. i won't sign. efforts that would take away healthcare from the 10 million people who now have it and the millions more who are eligible to get it we are not going to support.
in some cases there may be recommendations that republicans have for changes that would undermine the structure of the law and you know i will be very honest with them about that and say look, the law doesn't work if you pull out that piece or that piece. on the other hand, what i have said is there is no law that has ever been passed that is perfect. and given the contentious nature in which it was passed in the first place there are places where if i were just drafting a bill on our own we would have made those changes back then and certainly as we have been implementing there are some other areas where we think we can do even better. so, you know, if in fact one of the items on mitch mcconnell's agenda and john boehner's agenda is to make responsible
changes to the affordable care act to make it work better i'm going to be very open and receptive to hearing those ideas. but what i will remind them is that despite all of the contention we now know that the law works. you have got millions of people who have health insurance who didn't have it before. you have states that have expanded medicaid to folks who did not have it before, including republican governors who concluded this is a good deal for their state. and despite some of the previous predictions, even as we have enrolled more people into the affordable care act and given more people the security of health insurance, healthcare inflation has gone down every single year since the law passed so that we now have the lowest increase in
health care costs in 50 years. which is saving us about $180 billion in reduced overall costs to the federal government and the medicare program. so we are, i think, really proud of the work that has been done, but there is no doubt that there are areas where we can improve it. so i will look forward to seeing what list they have of improvements. >> the individual mandate one of the lines you can't cross? >> the individual mandate is a line i can't cross because the concept borrowed from massachusetts from a law instituted by a former opponent of mine, mitt romney, understood that if you are providing health insurance to people through the private marketplace then you have got to make sure that people can't game the system and just wait until they get sick before they go and try buy health
insurance. you can't ensure that people with preexisting conditions can get health insurance unless you also say while you are healthy before you need it you have to get insurance. obviously there are hardship exemptions. we understand that there are some folks who even with the generous subsidies provided still can't afford it but that is a central component of the law. in terms of enrollment, we will do some additional announcements about that in the days to come. starting in the middle of this month, people can sign up again. i think there are a number of people who the first time around sat on the sidelines in part because of our screwups on healthcare.gov. that is one area, ed, by the way, is very particular. we are really making sure the website works super well before the next open enrollment period. we are double and triple checking it.
and so i think a lot of people who maybe initially thought we are not sure how this works, let's wait and see, they will have an opportunity now to sign up and what has been terrific is to see how more private insurers have come into the marketplace so that there is greater competition in more markets all around the country. the premiums that have come in that are available to people and the choices that are available are better than a lot of people i think had predicted. so the law is working. that doesn't mean it can't be improved. major garrett? >> thank you, mr. president. and if you do miss us, allow me to humbly suggest we do this every week. >> we might. who knows? i'm having a great time. >> let me go back to immigration. moments before you walked out here, sir, mitch mcconnell said, and i quote, if you in fact use your executive authority to legalize a certain
number of millions of undocumented workers it would poison the wealth and would be like waving a red flag in front of a bull. do you not believe that is the considered opinion of the new republican majority in the house and senate? and do you also not believe what they have said in the aftermath of last night's results that the verdict rendered by voters should stop you or prevent you from taking this action because it was a subtext in many of the campaigns? i will ask you a couple of specifics. republicans haven't made a mystery about some of the things they intend -- >> do i have to write all these down? >> you are familiar with these. keystone excel pipeline. ask you to repeal the medical device tax as part of the mechanism to the affordable care act, and repatriate by reforming the corporate tax code without touching the individual tax code. to use your words, are any of those three lines you cannot
cross and also deal with what you perceive to be republican attitude about immigration? > i think, major, i answered the question on immigration. i have no doubt that there will be some republicans who are angered or frustrated by any executive action that i may take. those are folks, i just have to say, who are also deeply opposed to immigration reform in any form and blocked the house from being able to pass a bipartisan bill. i have said before that i actually believe that john boehner is sincere about wanting to get immigration reform passed. which is why for a year i held off taking any action beyond
what we had already done for the so-called dream kids, and did everything i could to give him space and room to get something done. and what i also said at the time was if, in fact, congress, if this congress could not get something done that i would take further executive actions in order to make the system work better, understanding that any bill that they pass will supplant the executive actions that i take. i just want to reemphasize this, major. if, in fact, there is a great eagerness on the part of republicans to tackle a broken immigration system, then they have every opportunity to do it. my executive actions not only do not prevent them from passing a law that supersedes those actions but should be a
spur for them to actually try to get something done. i'm prepared to engage them every step of the way with their ideas. i think we should have further broad-based debate among the american people. and i've said before, i do think the episode with the unaccompanied children changed a lot of attitudes. i think what may also change a lot of attitudes is when the public now realizes that was a very temporary and isolated vent and that, in fact, we have fewer illegal immigrants coming in today than we did five years ago, 10 years ago, or 20 years ago but that what we also have is a system that is not serving our economy well. so -- >> republicans who say the election was a referendum at least in part on your intentions to use executive authority for immigration. >> as i said before, i don't
want to try to read the tea leaves on election results. what i am going to try to do as president is to make sure that i'm advancing what i think is est for the country. and here is an opportunity where i can use my administrative authorities, executive authorities, and lawfully try to make improvements on the existing system, understanding that that is not going to fix the entire problem and we are much better off if we go ahead and pass a comprehensive bill. and i hope that the republicans really want to get it passed. if they do, they will have a lot of cooperation from me. so let me just tick off -- on keystone there is an independent process. it is moving forward. i'm going to let that process play out. i have given parameters in
terms of how i think about it. ultimately is this going to be good for the american people, is it going to be good for their pocketbook, is it going to create jobs and reduce gas prices that have been coming down? and is it going to be on net something that doesn't increase climate change that we have to grapple with? there is a pending case before a nebraska judge about some of the siting, the process is moving forward and i will gather up the facts. i will note while this debate about canadian oil has been raging, keep in mind this is canadian oil, this isn't u.s. oil -- while that debate has been raging, we have seen that some of the biggest increases in american oil production and american natural gas production in our history. we are closer to energy independence than we have ever been before or at least as we have been in decades. we are importing less foreign oil than we produce for the first time in a very long time. we have got a 100-year supply of natural gas that if we
responsibly tap puts us in the strongest position when it comes to energy of any industrialized country around the world. if you -- when i travel to asia or i travel to europe, their biggest envy is the incredible homegrown u.s. energy production that is producing jobs and attracting manufacturing because locating here means you have got lower energy costs. so our energy sector is booming. and i'm happy to engage republicans with additional ideas for how we can enhance that. i should note that our clean energy production is booming as well. and so keystone i just consider as one small aspect of a broader trend that is really positive for the american people. and let's see. k. medical device tax. you know, i have already
answered the question, we are going to take a look at whatever ideas -- let me take a look comprehensively at the ideas that they present. let's give them time to tell me -- i would rather hear it from them than from you. major, you know, conceivably i could just cancel my meeting on friday because i've heard everything from you. i think i would rather let mitch mcconnell -- i would rather hear from mitch mcconnell and john boehner what ideas they would like to pursue and we will have a conversation with them on that. on repatriation, i said in my opening remarks there is an opportunity for us to do a tax reform package that is good for business, good for jobs and can potentially finance infrastructure development here in the united states. now, the devil is in the details. so i think conceptually, it is something where we may have
overlap and i'm interested in pursuing ideas that can put folks to work right now on roads and bridges and waterways and ports and a better air traffic control system. if we had one, by the way, we could reduce delays by 30%, reduce fuel costs for airlines by about 30%, and hopefully that would translate into cheaper airline tickets. which i know everybody would be interested in. there is all kinds of work we can do on the infrastructure. this may be one mechanism that republicans are comfortable in financing those kinds of efforts. so that will be part of the discussion that i think we are prepared for on friday and then in the weeks to come leading into the new congress. whew. major works me, man. jim acosta? >> thank you, mr. president. i know you don't want to read the tea leaves, but it is a fact that your party rejected you in these mid terms. by and large, they did not want
you out on the campaign trail in these key battleground states. how do you account for that 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. 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 are now a lame duck? >> well, traditionally after the last midterm of the two-term presidency, since i can't run again, that's the label that you guys apply. here is what i tell my team. i told them this last week and i told them this, this morning. we had this incredible privilege of being in charge of the most important organization on earth. the u.s. government.
and our military. and everything that we do for good around the world. and there is a lot of work to be done to make government work better. to make americans safer. to make opportunity available to more people. for us to be able to have a positive influence in every corner of the globe the way we are doing right now in west africa. and i'm going to squeeze every last little bit of opportunity to help make this world a better place over these last two years. nd some of that is going to be what we can do administratively. and, you know, simple things like how do we make customer service better in every agency? are there things that we can do to streamline how our veterans
access care? are there better ways that we can make businesses understand the programs that are available to them to promote their business or exports? there is a whole bunch of stuff to do on that front, and as i said before, there is going to be opportunities to work with democrats and republicans on capitol hill to get laws done. and if you look at the history of almost every president those last two years all kinds of stuff happens. in some cases, stuff that we couldn't predict. the one thing i'm pretty confident about, jim, is i'm going to be busy for the next two years. and the one thing that i want the american people to be confident about is that every day i will be filling up my time trying to figure out how i can make their lives better. and if i'm doing that at the end of my presidency i will say
we played the fourth quarter well and we flayed game -- we played the game well. and the only difference between i guess basketball and politics is that the only score that matters is how did somebody else do, not how you did. and that is the score i'm keeping. am i going to be able to look back and say are more people working? are their bank accounts better? are more kids going to college? is housing improved? is the financial system more stable? are younger kids getting a better education? do we have greater energy independence? is the environment cleaner? have we done something about climate change? have we dealt with an ongoing terrorist threat and helped to bring about stability around the world? and those things, every single day i've got an opportunity to
make a difference on those fronts, which is -- absolutely not. wouldn't be satisfied as long as i'm meeting somebody who doesn't have a job and wants one. i'm not going to be satisfied as long as there's a kid who writes me a letter and says i got $60,000 worth of debt and i don't know how to pay it back. and the american people aren't satisfied. so i want to do everything i can to deliver for them. >> how about democrats? the fact that they held you out f the battleground states? >> listen, as i think some of you saw when i was out on the campaign trail, i love campaigning. i love talking to ordinary people, i love listening to their stories. i love shaking hands and getting hugs and just seeing the process of democracy and citizenship manifest itself
during an election. but i'm also a practical guy and ultimately every candidate out there had to make their own decisions about what they thought would be most helpful or them and ill wanted to make sure that i'm respectful of their particular region, their particular state or congressional district and if it was more helpful for them for me to be behind the scenes, i'm happy to do it. i don't have -- i'll let other people analyze that, but what i ill emphasize is that one of the nice things about being in the sixth year of your presidency is you've seen a lot of ups and downs and you've gotten more than your fair hare of attention -- attention and, you know, i've had the limelight and there have been
times where the requests for my appearances were endless. there have been times where politically we were down and it all kind of evens out, which is why what's most important, i think is keeping your eye on the ball and that is are you actually getting some good done. scott, last question. >> thank you, mr. president. you mentioned that where your policies actually were on the ballot, they often did better than members of your party. does that signal some short coming on your part or on the party's part in framing this election and communicating to the american people what it is that democrats stand for? > you know, i do think that -- you know, one area where i know we're constantly experimenting and trying to do better is just
making sure that people know exactly what it is that we're trying to accomplish and what we have accomplish in clear way that is people can -- that understand how it affect them. and you know, i think the minimum wage, i talked about it a lot on the campaign trail but, you know, i'm not sure it penetrated well enough to make difference. uh, part of what i also think we have to look at is the 2/3 of people who are eligible to vote and just didn't vote. one of the things i'm very proud of in 2008 and 2012 when i ran for office was we got people involved who hadn't been involved before. we got folks to vote who hadn't voted before, particularly young people, and that was part
of the promise and the excitement was if you get involved, if you participate, if you embrace that sense of citizenship then things hange. and not just in abstract ways but change in concrete ways. somebody gets a job who didn't have it before, somebody gets health care who didn't have it before. a student is able to go to college who didn't have it before. -- who couldn't afford it before. and sustaining that especially in midterm elections, has proven difficult. sustaining hat sense of the you get involved and if you vote then there's going to be big change out there. and partly, i think, when they look at washington, they say nothing's working, it's not making a difference and there's just a constant slew of bad news coming over the tv screen, then you can understand how
folks would get discouraged. but it's my job to figure this out. as best i can. and if the way we are talking about issues isn't working then i'm going to try some different things. if the way that we're approaching the republicans in congress isn't working, you know, i'm going to try different things, whether it's having a drink with mitch mcconnell or letting john boehner beat me again at golf or more weekly press conferences. i don't know if that would be effective but whatever i think might make a difference in his, you know, i'm going to be trying it out up until my last
day in office. but i'll close with what i said in my opening statement. i am really optimistic about america. i know that runs counter to the current mood. but when you look at the facts, our economy is stronger than just about anybody's, our energy production is better than just about anybody's. we've slashed our deficit by more than half. more people have health insurance. our businesses have the strongest balance sheets that they've had in decades. our young people are just incredibly talented and gifted and more of them are grating from high school and more of them are going on to college and more women are getting degrees and entering into the work force and one part of the reason i love campaigning is
you travel around the country, folks are just good. they're smart and hard working and they're not always paying a lot of attention to washington. in some cases they've given up on washington but their impulses are not sharply partisan and not ideological. they're really practical, good, genuine people. and we continue to be a magnet for the best and brightest from around the world. our armed forces, you talk to hem. i had a chance this morning to just call some of our health service that is operating in liberia and the amount of hope and professionalism that they've brought has val -- galvanized the entire country and they've built a platform suddenly for other countries to start coming in and we're
seeing real progress in a country that was a month, month and a half ago was just desperate and had no hope so all that makes me optimistic and my job over the next couple of years is to do some practical, concrete things as much as possible with congress. where it's not possible with congress, on my own, to show people why we should be confident and to give people a sense of progress and a sense of hope. that doesn't mean there aren't going to be ongoing nagging problems that are stubborn and can't be solved overnight. probably the biggest is that despite economic growth, wages and income have still not gone up and that's a long-term trend we've seen for 10, 20, 30 years and it makes people worried about not just their own situation but whether their kids are going to do better. better than they did.
which is the essence of the american dream. i think there are things we can do. to make sure wages and income do go up. minimum wage in those five states was a good start. but i think more than anything, what i want to communicate over these next two years is the promise and possibility of america. his is just an extraordinary country and our democracy is messy and we're diverse and we're big and there are times when you're a politician and you're disappointed with election results. but maybe i'm just getting older, i don't know. it doesn't make me mopey. it energizes me because it means that democracy is working and people in america were restless and impatient and we want to get things done and even when things are going good, we want them to do better and that's why this is the
greatest country on earth and that's why i'm so privileged to have a chance to be president for the next couple of years. all right? thank you, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> this morning the white house will posthumously award the meddle of honor to a man from the battle of gettysburg. later house speaker john boehner talks about the election coverage.
>> coming up, we will discuss the ramifications of republicans having control of both house and senate. next.ngton journal" is >> the american people sent a message, one that they have sent for several elections now. they expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. they expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. they want us to get the job done. >> i would like to remind people that divided government is not unusual in this country. we've had it frequently, i think, more often than not since world war ii. people choosing a divided government, it's not that they don't want us