WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is calling on both political parties to put aside partisanship whatever the outcome of Tuesday's election, but his appeal included a jab at the Republican House and Senate leaders for comments he said were troubling.
"The Republican leader of the House actually said that 'this is not the time for compromise,'" Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. "And the Republican leader of the Senate said his main goal after this election is simply to win the next one."
"I know that we're in the final days of a campaign. So it's not surprising that we're seeing this heated rhetoric. That's politics," Obama said. "But when the ballots are cast and the voting is done, we need to put this kind of partisanship side — win, lose or draw."
Voters angry and anxious about the economy and joblessness are expected to take their frustrations out on Democratic lawmakers Tuesday, possibly putting Republicans back in control of the House and maybe even the Senate.
House Republican leader John Boehner's comment that "this is not a time for compromise" came during a recent interview on a conservative radio show. The Ohio Republican was trying to rebut a GOP senator's suggestion that repealing the health care law is not in the party's best interest. Republicans have pledged to repeal the health care law or, at least, undo key parts of it.
In the same interview, Boehner said he'd welcome Obama's involvement in working toward Republican goals.
Separately, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate GOP leader, expressed his desire to have a Republican in the White House. He said in a published interview that the "single most important thing" Republicans want is to help Obama become a one-term president.
Tuesday's results aside, Obama said both parties should be able to agree on steps to promote economic growth and hiring.
"Whatever the outcome on Tuesday, we need to come together to help put people who are still looking for jobs back to work," he said.
In the weekly Republican address, Boehner said Obama has failed to deliver the change he promised. The man who likely would become House speaker if Republicans win control of the chamber also promoted party pledges to cut spending and keep taxes at current levels.
"This is a new way forward that hasn't been tried in Washington yet," Boehner said. "It's a break from the direction in which President Obama has taken our country. And frankly, it's also a break from the direction in which Republicans were headed when Americans last entrusted us with the reins of government. The American people are in charge, and they deserve nothing less."
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