Obama insists Dems can do well in midterm congressional election

Democrats will fare well in this fall's elections if they can frame the choice to voters, President Obama said Friday.

During his first press conference in months, Obama capped a week of electioneering by saying he believed his party could do well in this fall's midterm elections as long as it convinces voters it is providing the best options for an economic recovery.

Obama said he understood why voters might blame him and Democrats for the nation's economic woes, given high unemployment and a housing market that continues to sour.

"Since I'm the president and Democrats have controlled the House and the Senate, it's understandable that people are saying, you know, 'What have you done?' " Obama said.

"But between now and November, what I'm going to remind the American people of is that the policies that we have put in place have moved us in the right direction," he added. "And the policies that the Republicans are offering right now are the exact policies that got us into this mess."

Obama has barnstormed throughout the U.S. this week, including stops in critical states for Democrats like Ohio and Wisconsin, to make the case against GOP control of the House and, possibly, the Senate.

But the president noted earlier in the week that if the elections were strictly a referendum on the economy, Democrats might not do well this fall.

Polls have shown the White House has struggled in making the case that Republican control of Congress would mean a return to economic policies that caused the recession. Press secretary Robert Gibbs suggested Friday morning, however, that the administration was confident its case against Republicans could be successfully driven home.

Obama said that if the administration is successful in its effort to frame the election, Democrats would do just fine.

"If you want the same kinds of skewed policies that led us to this crisis, then the Republicans are ready to offer that," he said. "But if you want policies that are moving us out, even though you may be frustrated, even though change isn't happening as fast as you'd like, then I think Democrats are going to do fine in November."