President Barack Obama's post-election pledge to work more closely with Republicans in the wake of his party's historic defeats prompted Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Thursday to ask White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, "What took so long? Why didn't it happen a long time ago?"
"If there are things that the president can do differently to make sure that we can get results for middle-class people, he's willing to do exactly that," Earnest said.
"If that means another round of golf with Speaker Boehner … he's willing to do that. If that's going to advance our ability to find common ground among Democrats and Republicans, the president will do that as much as necessary."
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During his remarks Wednesday at a press conference, Obama acknowledged
past difficulties in the way he had worked with Congress but said he would be happy to spend one-on-one time with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"If the ways that we're approaching the Republicans in Congress isn't working, I'm going to try different things — whether it's having a drink with Mitch McConnell or letting John Boehner beat me again at golf, or weekly press conferences — I don't know if that would be effective.
"Whatever I think might make a difference in this, I'm going to be trying out up until my last day in office," the president said.
Meanwhile, a White House official said that the president had invited Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate to a meeting at the White House
Throughout his term in office, Obama has been criticized for his failure to work with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to forge compromises on his legislative agenda.
During his victory speech Tuesday night, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
said the GOP has a "duty" to work with Obama on issues they agree on, and he plans to make every effort to do so.
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