Barack Obama faces the press after Republicans triumph over Democrats in US midterms

Guy Bentley
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(Source: Getty)

President Obama has finished his first press conference since his party's shellacking in America's midterm elections.

Republicans strengthened their control over the House of Representatives gaining ten seats. However, the big story of the night was the GOP takeover of the Senate going from 45 to 52 seats so far.

Furthermore, Republicans won governors' races in solid Democrat states including Obama's home state of Illinois. The President faced the White House press corps saying "every election is a moment for reflection" and conceded that "obviously Republicans had a good night."

He said he still believed in his popular campaign phrase that "we are more than just a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States."

But the President couldn't help but try and save some face explaining to the press “I’m the guy who’s elected by everybody, not just a particular state or particular district."

There was little sign the President would change his governing strategy of circumventing congress and making the maximum use of executive actions, which have proved controversial in recent years.

Specifically on the issue of immigration reform, Obama told reporters:

What I'm not going to do is just wait. I think it's fair to say that I've shown a lot of patience

On the state of the wider economy Obama attempted to strike a more conciliatory tone:

I think we can hone in on a way... that makes it more attractive for companies to create jobs here in the United States

When asked about his relationship with the new Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who has led Republicans in the upper house for six years and he has only spoken to one on one a handful of times, the President said:

I would enjoy having some Kentucky Bourbon with Mitch McConnell.

On healthcare reform Obama said the repeal of the individual mandate, the main component of his signature healthcare bill, was not on the table.

Here are Alaska and Hawaii, to save you scrolling:

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