WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday he is "very proud of our track record" but the biggest challenge America faces is "fixing our politics."
Speaking at a fundraiser at a private home in Washington, the president conceded he has "some bumps and bruises" from political battles but claimed credit for a string of successes.
"We were able to prevent America from going into a Great Depression," he said. "We were able to, after a series of quarterly GDP reports that were the worst that we've seen since the Great Depression, reverse it and get the economy to grow again. We've seen 20 straight months of consecutive job growth. We were able to pass health insurance reform, Wall Street reform, end 'don't ask, don't tell,' end the war in Iraq -- the list goes on.
"And so I'm very proud of our track record," he said. "But what is absolutely true is that huge swaths of the country are still hurting. A lot of people are still struggling out there. And there's no way in which America right now is fulfilling all of its potential."
Obama said he is "much more determined to make sure that over the next five years we complete the task that we set out, which was to create a government that is responsive to not just people who are hurting now, but also responsive to future generations; that we're able to reduce our deficit in a responsible way, in a balanced way; that we're able to make sure our school system is working for every child and not just some children; that we implement health care reform so that we start reducing costs for families and for businesses and for the federal government, but also improve quality and make sure that nobody out there is going bankrupt just because somebody in their family is getting sick."
The president said the problems the nation faces are "solvable" but he said fixing U.S. politics "is probably the biggest piece of business that remains unfinished."
"The challenge we have right now is fixing our politics and making sure that we've got the kind of politics and governance here in Washington which is responsive to the needs of people, not the needs of special interests; that brings out the best in us and not the worst in us."