Obama Mocks Pundits in Ohio Speech

(CBS)
ELYRIA, Ohio - It was a tough political week for President Obama, and who could blame him if he thanked God it's Friday.

"I've got to admit, we had a little bit of a buzz saw this week," he confided to 1250 people at a Town Hall Meeting at Lorain County Community College.

This was the week he saw Republican Scott Brown elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts, wresting from the Democrats their filibuster-proof supermajority.

"People in Washington were all in a tizzy," he said, a day after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she didn't have the votes in her chamber to approve the Senate version of the health care bill Mr. Obama desperately wants to sign into law. It puts the measure in limbo.

He knows the developments raise doubts about his ability to get other elements of his agenda enacted - though he mocked the pundits who might write about that.

"What does it mean for Obama?" he asked rhetorically. "Is he weakened? Oh – how's he gonna survive this?"

The president assured his audience they need not worry that he'll walk away from his top domestic priorities: creating jobs, growing the economy, enacting health care.

"I will take my lumps, but I won't stop fighting to bring back jobs here," he said, sounding as if he were addressing a campaign rally.

"I'll never stop fighting," he said.

He used that phrase again and again to proclaim his determination to pass a new jobs bill, restore home values, improve education and "give every American a fair shake."

He vowed not to give up on putting new regulations in place to prevent a recurrence of the near meltdown of the financial industry.

He'll never stop fighting, he said, to open up government, fight waste and abuse, and enact "real and meaningful health care reforms."

A year and two days after assuming the presidency, his standing in the polls is significantly lower – but he wants to be seen energized and determined to keep fighting.

Before leaving Ohio, Mr. Obama stopped at Riddell Manufacturing, maker of sporting goods including football helmets. They gave him one as a gift. Considering the battles yet to come, he might need the shoulder pads and shin guards as well.

Obama: "I Won't Stop Fighting For You"


(CBS)
Mark Knoller is a CBS News White House correspondent. You can read more of his posts in Hotsheet here. You can also follow him on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/markknoller.
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