Reporter To Obama: Do You Take Any Blame For Making Country More Divided?


DIANA WILLIAMS, WABC-TV: You were the one many years ago, when you were running for this office who said, you know, 'I'm going to create a bipartisan atmosphere in Washington.' Yet, Washington is more split than ever before. This country is more divided than ever before. Why have you not been able to create a bipartisan atmosphere here and do you take any of the blame on yourself for that?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you know, I think that if you look at my track record over the last four years, I have consistently sought compromise. Sometimes, to the point that Democrats have been mad at me, but I didn't care because I did what I thought was best for the country...

The problem that we have right now is that on the other side, just a faction of the Republican party -- it doesn't represent all Republicans -- that have decided to take a very extreme position and to use very extreme tactics in order to get stuff done. And the more moderate, reasonable members of the Republican party up in Congress often times have difficulty dealing with that faction. And, what we've seen as a result is the kind of mess that we're seeing today.

So, the upshot is this: if you look at both my policies as well as the approach that I've taken in governing, there is a lot of overlap between what I'm proposing and what Republicans have proposed in the past. I take their ideas all the time. What we haven't seen is a willingness on the other side to engage in the basic compromises that are required for governance.

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