President Obama on Sunday tersely summarized Democratic losses in last Tuesday's midterm elections, saying simply, "We got beat."
"And so whenever, as the head of the party, it doesn't do well, I've got to take responsibility for it," Obama said. "The message that I took from this election, and we've seen this in a number of elections, successive elections, is people want to see this city work."
He was reacting to critical comments made by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidObama in Nevada: 'Heck no' to Trump, Joe Heck Dems double down on Nevada Latino vote Heck's rejection of Trump imperils Nevada Senate race MORE's (D-Nev.) chief of staff, who pointed to Obama's low approval rating as one explanation for losses on Election Day.
Republicans took back control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House on Tuesday. They currently hold 52 seats in the Senate and 244 in the House, with a number of races leaning in their favor yet to be called.
Obama said there has been a "failure of politics" on the part of Democrats, to not court the other side.
"And I think there are times, there's no doubt about it, where, you know I think we have not been successful in going out there and letting people know what it is that we're trying to do and why this is the right direction," he said. "So there is a failure of politics there that we've got to improve on."
Obama said there would no doubt be turnover in the White House "because people get tired, you know, it's a hard job."
He also said he would be "experimenting" with ways to reach out to Republicans now that they will control both chambers of Congress starting in January.
"Making sure that we're reaching out and using the private sector more effectively," he said.
People don't get into politics unless they love it, the president said, especially when their name is Barack Hussein Obama. Obama was asked if he had the same zest for politics that made others effective leaders, like Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and Bill ClintonBill ClintonCongress, the president and the fight over expanding the rights of terror victims What would a Hillary Clinton presidency look like? 56 memorable moments from a wild presidential race MORE.
"I think every president that you've mentioned would also say that while they were in office people weren't always as complementary of them as when they left," he said.