Slammed by election losses that Republicans insist were a repudiation of his policies, president Obama Wednesday did not promise to change course.
Instead he insisted Democrats lost the House because of the slow economic recovery, but still promised to work with the newly empowered Republicans.
"It feels bad," Mr. Obama said when discussing the lost races with reporters.
But the president denied his policies led to the losses.
He said it was the economy.
"Over the last two years we've made progress, but clearly too many Americans haven't felt that progress yet and they told us that yesterday," he said. "And as president I take responsibility for that."
Senior Republicans insist the midterms were all about the policies of Obama Democrats.
"We hope that they will pivot in a different direction work with us on things like spending and debt," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner's first target will be health care.
"We have to do everything that we can to repeal this bill or replace it with common sense reforms that'll bring down the cost of health insurance," Boehner said Wednesday.
His Democratic majority reduced, Senate Leader Harry Reid is talking cooperation.
"I welcome some republican ideas. I was begging for Republicans to help us," he said.
President Obama is also talking cooperation.
One example, he says, is energy policy.
Dropping cap-and-trade global warming curbs may be a possiblity.