ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:
President Obama didn’t quite say that he’s confident the Democrats will remain in control of the House after Election Day. But he did say he’s still confident that it still is a very close race.
“I still feel confident that it is a very close race in terms of the House. You've got close races all across the country,” President Obama said, “So we're going to have to wait and see what happens. And a lot of it is going to depend on turnout.”
In a radio interview with talk show host Michael Smerconish the president said that that voters across the board want the country to move forward and not play political games after the election.
“My expectation is that Republicans, should they win additional seats, should they be in a position to hopefully take more responsibility working with us, are going to say to themselves that it's important for us to show some accomplishments over the next couple years.”
The president said the key question for voters is what agenda will bring about growth for the middle class over the next two years, and said that it’s “very hard to figure out from the Republicans” what their agenda would be.
“Nobody believes that tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent is somehow going to significantly cut our unemployment rate. Nobody thinks that us cutting education is going to prepare us for long-term competitiveness. Nobody thinks, by the way, that Republicans actually have a very good track record when it comes to dealing with debt and deficits. “
Obama predicted that regardless the outcome of the election that Democrats and Republicans “should be able to get some agreement” to get control of the nation’s deficits.
“We've got to make sure that moving forward we're doing so on a responsible way, and that the best way for us to do it is to do it with a scalpel, not a machete, and to make sure that the cuts we're making are not eliminating those things that are going to help us grow,” Obama said “If we can make sure that we are eliminating wasteful programs while at the same time growing the economy, that should be the sweet spot that we're aiming for.”
Asked why those who supported the health care bill have not been running on their vote, as Obama once predicted, Obama blamed the third party ads.
“There was an awful lot of misinformation about this health care bill while we were debating it, and that has continued after we have finished debating it and after it's into law. So, you know, I recognize that, you know, folks feel barraged by negative information.”
But the president countered that he believes people should not be embarrassed by their vote, something that he tries to uphold with the decisions he makes in the White House
“You wake up every day; you do what you think is right, and you make sure that you're not embarrassed about what you thought was right, even if it's not politically expedient. And that's how I've tried to govern.”
Asked how he can regain the support of the Independent voters this election, President Obama said that conservative Smerconish, who endorsed the president in 2008, is “pretty representative” of voters.
“People who aren’t strictly liberal or conservative, have a whole mix of ideas on a whole bunch of different issues,” Obama described, “I think it is fair to say that they are hungry for a different tone in Washington.”
The president said he has not been successful in changing the tone in Washington and take some responsibility for that.
“Partly because we were in such a crisis mode that we had to act fast and not getting cooperation from the other side, not getting cooperation from the Republicans, my attitude was that I can’t just let us stall and let us fall over a cliff. We had to just keep on moving. And that means that we didn’t spend all the time that I might have just focusing on how we recreate a sense of consensus in this country.”
Obama said after the election, regardless of what happens, it is one of his responsibilities, and of the Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress, to recognize that people don’t want to hear bickering.