By Justin Sink – 04/30/13 07:00 PM ET
President Obama bristled during a press conference on Tuesday when asked whether his second-term agenda is failing after the first 100 days.
Coming off defeats on the issues of gun control and sequestration and facing an uphill battle on immigration reform, Obama was pressed on whether he still had the “juice” to get things accomplished in Washington.
“Maybe I should just pack up and go home,” Obama shot back. “Golly. You know, I think it’s a little, as Mark Twain said, you know, ‘Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated’ at this point.”
The remark was a far cry from the triumphant tone heard in 2009, when Obama proclaimed he was “proud of what we’ve achieved” and “pleased with our progress” after 100 days in the Oval Office.
Now, constrained by a House Republican majority that rejects his agenda, the president was left Tuesday to explain why his reelection victory hasn’t translated into legislative success.
Fielding questions from reporters for just the third time this year, Obama lashed out at the GOP — and House Republicans in particular — for resisting his proposals while conceding that his efforts to channel public pressure against Congress have come up short.
“I cannot force Republicans to embrace those common-sense solutions. I can urge them to. I can put pressure on them. I can, you know, rally the American people around those common-sense solutions. But ultimately they, themselves, are going to have to say ‘we want to do the right thing.’ ”
The press conference came just a few weeks after the defeat of a bipartisan Senate bill that would have expanded universal background checks. The president put much of his second-term political capital behind the effort, only to see the bill go down amid opposition from Republicans and some Democrats facing reelection in 2014.
He suffered a similar defeat on sequestration, which began on March 1 despite a sustained campaign by the White House to gin up outrage about the impact of the spending cuts on government services and the economy.
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