Obama Seeks Compromise After Republican Election Victory

President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivias)

U.S. President Barack Obama said he will seek common ground with Republicans, one day after the opposition party delivered Mr. Obama's Democrats a decisive defeat in congressional elections.

Mr. Obama called the Republican victories in Tuesday's elections a heavy defeat -- a "shellacking." Republicans won the majority in the House of Representatives and made gains in the Senate. The new Congress begins in January.

At the White House Wednesday, President Obama said the American people are clearly frustrated with the pace of job creation and economic growth.

Mr. Obama acknowledged it will be difficult to push through his agenda without Republican support and said he is eager to hear Republicans' ideas on how to stimulate job growth and the economy. But he added tax cuts alone will not be enough to create the kind of expansion America needs.

He vowed to work harder to reach a consensus between both parties in order to get things done in Washington. The president said Americans do not want political leaders to spend the next two years fighting the political battles of the previous two years.

President Obama said political leaders in Washington owe it to the American people to work together on important issues such as job creation, security, clean energy, education and investment technology.

He admitted that many Americans viewed his policies in dealing with banks, the auto industry and the economic recovery as potential over-reaching by the government. He said those decisions were made because of the emergency nature of the situation, as those institutions were on the verge of collapse and the country's economy was slipping into a second Great Depression.

Mr. Obama also said he must better balance the need to regulate businesses with the need to protect consumers. He said he must make clear that the most important thing Washington can do is boost and encourage the business sector and make sure firms are hiring.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters and AP