Defeated Obama to focus on opening up markets on Asia trip

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington : “Humbled” in defeat, US President Barack Obama has vowed to “re-set” the button with American business by focusing his trip to Asia, starting with India, on opening up markets to create more jobs at home.

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“As I plan for my trip later this week to Asia, the whole focus is on how are we going to open up markets so that American businesses can prosper, and we can sell more goods and create more jobs here in the United States,” he said Wednesday the day after his Democratic party’s rout in the mid-term poll.

“And a whole bunch of corporate executives are going to be joining us so that I can help them open up those markets and allow them to sell their products,” said Obama promising to “work harder” to build consensus and admitting that Tuesday had been a long night for him.

“Some election nights are more fun than others,” he told reporters in the East Room of the White House. “Some are exhilarating. Some are humbling.”

Obama blamed the anaemic economy for the “shellacking” his fellow Democrats experienced, but also acknowledged his policies hadn’t done enough to bring down high unemployment.

“I’ve got to take direct responsibility for the fact that we have not made as much progress as we need to make,” he said.

His administration has “stabilised” the economy and spurred private-sector hiring, “but people all across America aren’t feeling that progress,” Obama said.

Obama faced the media the day after Republicans seized control of the House with a 238-185 majority in the 435-member House and whittled down the Democratic majority in the Senate from 59 to 52 seats in the 100-member
Senate Obama acknowledged that he has to push a “reset button” with businesses in America, who he said believe that they have been treated unfairly.

Upon reflection, businesses have drawn the conclusion from his policies that they are “the bad guys” and he accepted responsibility for managing that message poorly, he said.

Going forward he will need to make “absolutely clear that the only way America succeeds is if businesses are succeeding,” he said

The “shellacking” he received by the voters Tuesday made him realise how important it is for a president to get out of the “bubble” of the White House.

“When you’re in this place, it is hard not to seem removed,” he said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])