Obama lays out second-term agenda in first post-election conference
Appearing in his first post-victory news conference, President Barack Obama struck a populist tone in characterizing his second-term "mandate" to help the poor and the middle class.
He also warned his partisan rivals that voters had sided with his approach to the economy during the long campaign.
Displaying a rare flash of anger, Obama fiercely defended U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice, a leading candidate to be the next Secretary of State, from Republican attempts to "besmirch her reputation."
"As I said during the campaign, there are going to be times where there are fights, and I think those are fights that need to be had," Obama said, sounding like someone eager to have them.
"But what I think the American people don't want to see is a focus on the next election, instead of a focus on them," he continued. "And I don't have another election," he added.
According to the Washington Post, Obama also suggested that he would take a far more combative approach with Congress than he did during his first term in resolving the nation's economic woos.
Obama reiterated his intention to make immigration reform a legislative priority, saying that his staff is talking to lawmakers about how to proceed.
He also highlighted his strong performance among Latinos in the election, and suggested the result would prompt "some reflection" among Republicans on immigration reform, the report said.
Discussing his next move to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, Obama said he will not let "diplomatic niceties" stand in the way of a deal.
According to the report, Obama also linked his election victory to the most contentious element of his position; that the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans must expire at the end of the year.