Obama to those who voted for change: "I hear you"

Nov 5, 2014 2:31 PM by CBS/AP

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is telling Americans who voted for change: "I hear you."

The president said the Republican victories Tuesday in the midterm elections are a sign they want Washington "to get the job done."

In a White House news conference, he said both parties must address those concerns. But he acknowledged as president he has a "unique responsibility to try to make this town work."

He says he's eager to hear Republican ideas for governing together. And he vowed to work hard during his final two years in office to make progress. He says, "It's time for us to take care of business."

Mr. Obama said that over the next two years, he will "measure ideas by whether they work for the American people" - not by whether they are proposed by Republicans or Democrats.

"I continue to believe that we are more than a collection of red and blue states," Mr. Obama said. "We are the United States."

CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett reports that senior advisors in the Obama administration did not sugar-coat the brutal conquest by Republicans on midterm election night, with the GOP projected to take control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, in line to be the next majority leader, says it would be a "mistake" for Mr. Obama to take unilateral action on immigration.

McConnell said he spoke with Mr. Obama on Wednesday and says he looks forward to finding areas where Republicans and Democrats can agree, specifically citing trade agreements and rewriting the tax code. But he says any executive action that Mr. Obama might take to address the nation's immigration system would only antagonize Republicans.

Speaking to reporters in his native Kentucky, McConnell said the new Republican majority in the Senate wants to take action on immigration.

"I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell," Mr. Obama said when asked about working with the Republican leader.

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