President Obama said he’s still got the political juice, scoffing Tuesday at the notion that’s he’s increasingly irrelevant or politically weak.
“Maybe I should pack and go home. Golly!” he said facetiously, when asked whether a recent defeat on guns legislation and signing a patchwork bill to fix airport delays demonstrate a lack of “juice” in getting his agenda through Congress.
At a White House news conference, Obama slightly mangled a famous Mark Twain line — “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” — as he declared, “As Mark Twain said, ‘Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated.’”
He quickly pointed a finger at Congress, in particular the Senate, where 60 votes are increasingly needed to get anything passed, a mandate that has “gummed up the works.”
And the ongoing, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration, he said, are “damaging our economy, hurting our people and we need to lift it” via a larger budget deal that is clearly not imminent.
But he expressed confidence that progress will come, in particular that immigration reform will pass “and that will be a historic achievement.”