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President Obama Addresses Midterm Election Results In Press Conference

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Yesterday President Barack Obama gave his post mortem press conference on the Republican sweep of the 2014 elections. He said Republicans ran good campaign campaigns but thought the real message from the electorate was that they want Washington to “get the job done” despite voting overwhelmingly for divided government.

Immigration stood out as a key issue with Obama saying he still planned to act on immigration using his executive authority despite warnings from Republicans, including incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that doing so would cause a backlash in Congress. Obama said he had wanted to get immigration reform done in his first term and that he no longer has interest in waiting for Congress to act.

President Obama also addressed a longstanding though seemingly trivial issue of his meeting with Republicans. Obama said he would be spending more time with Republican leaders now that they control Congress completely. Obama pushed back on the notion that he and Republican leaders did not get along.

The Iran deal was also discussed with the possibility that Republicans will try to sabotage the deal. Obama said the next three to four weeks would demonstrate whether or not the deal would get done and that he did have some unilateral authority to relax sanctions. Hawks in Congress have said they do not want a deal and that Obama does not have the authority to even temporarily suspend sanctions on Iran.

When asked about ISIS the president said it was “too early to say whether we are winning,” and that it was going to take a considerable amount of time to secure the Iraqi government and push ISIS off the extensive territory it has taken. He said the problems in Syria will “not be solved anytime soon.” The hardest piece of business, according to Obama, is strengthening moderate forces in Syria and he noted that his first priority is to drive ISIS out of Iraq.

Overall, President Obama appears to want to maintain the status quo which, given the layout of the new Congress, is all he really can do. The Republicans might have other ideas.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.