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Presidents Claim Partial Responsibility For Midterm Drubbings


And let's return to our coverage of the midterm elections here in the U.S. In a press conference yesterday, President Obama spoke of his party's losses at the poll.


PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: We were held accountable yesterday, and I accept my share of the responsibility in the result of the elections.

INSKEEP: Wait, wait - that's President Bill Clinton after his party lost Congress in 1994. Let's try to play this tape again, guys. Here's President Obama after the midterms.


PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome of the election, and as the head of the Republican Party, I share a large part of the responsibility.

INSKEEP: No - no, no, guys. That's George W. Bush after his party lost Congress in 2006. One more time, please.


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As president I have a unique responsibility to try and make this town work. So to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you. To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.

INSKEEP: So Obama is not the first president to suffer this kind of defeat. Others have been defiant. Bill Clinton battled Congress for a year before making deals. President Bush doubled down on his strategy in Iraq, and President Obama yesterday said he would move forward on immigration. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.