U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday took direct responsibility for the slow pace of economic recovery over which American voters were frustrated and handed out a stunning defeat for the Democrats in the mid-term poll.

“As President I take responsibility for the failure to restore job growth more quickly,” Mr. Obama told journalists.

Reaching out to the Republicans, a reflective Obama said he was eager to sit down with the leaders of that party as also the Democrats “and figure out how we can move forward together.”

The President, however, added that this was not an easy task since both parties differed profoundly in some key areas.

Mr. Obama said there were “tough choices” before him but expressed his willingness to compromise on a whole range of issues like energy. The President said he would have to work harder to build consensus in Washington.

He voiced his disappointment over the poll result that saw Republicans take control of the House of Representatives. The Democrats clung on to the Senate despite losing seats. “It feels bad,” he responded when a reporter asked for his reaction.

Mr. Obama said he would listen to Republican ideas to improve the health care system but would not scrap the law. — PTI