President Barack Obama said in remarks published Thursday that he could have done “a little better” in getting along with Republicans.
He was speaking to the Los Angeles Times Wednesday after addressing the Illinois General Assembly, where he served before running for president. In the room along with a reporter were three old Obama poker buddies — retired state senators — two Democrats and a Republican.
In a free-wheeling exchange, Obama said he doesn’t think that his race explains the Republican fortress against his agenda, or that having lawmakers over for drinks or to watch football every weekend would have made a difference over the last seven years, The Times reported.
But he also admitted that he was partly to blame for the highly partisan environment by failing to reach out more to Republicans.
“There is no doubt that every step of the way, every day that I’m in that office, maybe I could have done that a little better,” he said.
When one of his former mentors suggested Obama’s race has hampered his ability to push his political agenda, the president noted that the issue cut both ways, drawing some voters to his side and keeping others away, The Times reported.
As he enters his last year in office, Obama said he hopes he has created “a tone for the next president” that is less strident than the political rhetoric on the campaign trail.
—City News Service