Obama, GOP Signal Willingness to Work Together

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Voters sent a strong message to Washington on election day, and Republicans and Democrats are now trying to define that message.

Some are calling for cooperation. Others are calling for confrontation.

On Thursday, President Obama invited leaders from both parties to a White House pow wow after his 10 day Asian trip.

"I want us to talk substantively about how we can move the American people's agenda forward, not just a photo op. Hopefully, it may spill over into dinner," Obama said.

CBN News spoke with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, for his reaction to the recent election outcomes.  Click play for his comments, following John Waage's report.

This is the season, after the election night confetti has settled, when party leaders talk about coming together to solve the country's problems.

But this year, the parties' agendas are so far apart it will be tough to find room for compromise, especially when a top GOP goal is to send the president home after one term.

"Over the past week, some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term in office," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

"But the fact is, if our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill, to end the bailouts, cut spending and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things," he continued.

House GOP leaders also say they're willing to talk with the White House, but they're listening first to the voters.

"They said that the Obama administration's agenda for the last 20 months has failed. They've rejected that approach," Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.

The biggest showdown will likely be over health care legislation, which the president insists must stay mostly intact.

"There are going to be examples where I think we can tweak and make improvements on the progress we've made," President Obama said.

"The American people are concerned over the government takeover of health care," presumptive House Speaker John Boehner said. "I think it's important to us to lay the groundwork before we begin to repeal this monstrosity and replace it with common sense reforms that will bring down the cost of health insurance in America."

 

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John Waage

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John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.