Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
President Barack Obama, speaking on Face the Nation, took the blame for the Democrats’ loss in the midterms.
CBS Screenshot

President Barack Obama took full responsibility on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday morning for the public beating Democrats took in the midterm elections last week. He noted that government gridlock has added to public perception that the nation's highest elected official isn't doing his job.

"We got beat. … Whenever, as head of the party, it doesn't do well, I've got to take responsibility for it," Obama said. "The message that I took from this election, and we've seen this in a number of elections, is people want to see this city work. … [People] see Washington gridlocked and they're frustrated, and they know one person in Washington and that's the president of the United States. So I've got to make this city work better for them."


Obama denied that there was any problem with his staff working with his Republican counterparts. "We wouldn't have gotten health care passed if there wasn't a whole bunch of arm-twisting. We would not have been able to make progress on the deficit if I hadn't been willing to cut some deals with Republicans."

The president did note that he could a better job selling his policies to the GOP. "When you start governing, there is a tendency sometimes for me to start thinking, 'As long as I get the policy right, that's what should matter,'" Obama said. "One thing I do need to constantly remind myself and my team are, is it's not enough just to build a better mousetrap. People don't automatically come beating to your door. We got to sell it. … I think there are times when we have not been successful at going out there and letting people know what it is we're trying to do and why it's the right direction. So there is a failure of politics there."

Read more at Face the Nation.

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