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Day After "Waterloo," Obama Highlights Health Care Consensus

After a politically charged statement Monday, President Obama shifted tone today as he sought to highlight what he said was "substantial common ground" that has been reached on health care.

Speaking in the Rose Garden, he did still criticize those who have "openly declared their intention to block reform," reading from a "familiar Washington script." But he said there "are many others who are working hard" to tackle the "crisis" of rising health care costs.

"There is a tendency in Washington to accentuate the differences instead of underscoring common ground," he said. "But make no mistake: we are closer than ever before to the reform that the American people need, and we're going to get the job done."

He outlined common principles in the bills working through Congress, and said the collaboration goes beyond Congress, including stakeholders like pharmaceutical companies, doctors and nurses. And the American people as well "understand that the status quo is unacceptable."

"They don't care who's up or who's down politically in Washington," he said. "They don't care about the latest line of political attack. They care about whether their families will be crushed by rising premiums."

Yesterday, it was White House trying to focus the country on the Republicans' line of attack -- Sen. Jim DeMint's "Waterloo" comment especially. But today, the president said that ultimately, when a reform plan is passed, history will focus not on the political fight but instead "the hard work done" to get it through.

Obama opened his remarks by praising the Senate for rejecting an appropriation for F-22 jets, which he called an "inexcusable waste" of taxpayer money. Among those he praised for leading the charge against them was John McCain.