At President Obama's first post-election news conference, he focused on the economy, responding to a reporter's question about the election outcome by saying "I've got one mandate. I have a mandate to help middle class families."
President Obama opened the wide-ranging news conference with a statement that his top priority has to be jobs, as the economy is in the first stages of a tenuous recovery. He said, "we face a very clear deadline" on jobs, taxes and the deficit, which "both parties agreed to," alluding to the so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and budget cuts.
"There is only one way to solve these challenges, and that is to do it together," he said, also saying that he would meet with leaders from both parties in Congress before the end of the week.
Questions from reporters focused on the economy and the "fiscal cliff," comprehensive immigration reform, and the scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus. Reporters also asked about the potential for Susan Rice to become the next Secretary of State, and about the death of four Americans at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, among other topics.
Ben Feller, of the Associated Press, asked the President to confirm that no classified information was compromised in the scandal involving Retired Gen. David Petraeus. The President said that the investigation was ongoing, and that he had great respect for Gen. Petraeus's service to the country prior to his resignation.