Obama Admits His Message Didn’t Get Through; ‘Stopped Paying Attention’

November 5, 2010 - 7:18 AM

Washington (AP) - President Barack Obama is acknowledging in the wake of this week's election rout that he hasn't been able to successfully promote his economic-rescue message to anxious Americans.

Obama says in an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" that he "stopped paying attention" to the leadership style he displayed during his run for the presidency.

Obama also said he recognizes now that "leadership is not just legislation," and that "it's a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand."

"And I think that - we haven't always been successful at that," he said. "And I take personal responsibility for that. And it's something that I've got to examine closely as I go forward."

The president recorded the interview, to be broadcast in full with CBS's Steve Kroft on Sunday night, before leaving on a 10-day trip to Asia.

Obama said that's the response he's giving to "some of my Democratic supporters who express some frustration."

Obama's Democratic Party lost control of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections, as Republicans picked up a net gain of at least 60 seats, setting up a more divided government -- or shared governance -- in January, depending on the extent to which the two parties can reach accommodation on such vexing issues as the economy, energy, immigration, education and the war in Afghanistan.

Democrats had held sway in both the House and Senate since the 2006 election. The balloting Tuesday also puts House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio into position to be the next speaker, succeeding California Democrat Nancy Pelosi. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., seems set to take position of House majority leader.

Democrats did retain control of the Senate, although their majority margin has been substantially decreased.