WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Obama held a press conference yesterday morning to discuss his ability to persuade Republicans to reach a compromise and avert sequestration. During the conference, Obama told reporters that he was not a dictator and that he could not use a "Jedi mind-meld" to convince Congressional leaders.
"Look, the issue is not my persuasive power," Obama said. "The question is can the American people help persuade their members of Congress to do the right thing, and I have a lot of confidence that over time, if the American people express their displeasure about how something is working, that eventually Congress responds."
CNN's Jessica Yellen later asked, "Mr. President, to your question, what could you do -- first of all, couldn’t you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal?"
"I mean, Jessica, I am not a dictator. I’m the President," Obama replied. "So, ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, we need to go to catch a plane, I can't have Secret Service block the doorway, right?"
Yellen then interrupted the President, "But isn’t that part of leadership?"
"I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that's been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don't take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right," Obama said. "Well, they're elected. We have a constitutional system of government. The Speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate and all those folks have responsibilities."
Image and Video Credit: White House