President Obama's Last Press Conference of 2013

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

"If I look at this past year, there are areas where there are obviously frustrations where I wish Congress had moved more aggressively. Not passing background checks in the wake of Newtown is something that I continue to believe was a mistake."

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- Just before departing on hos annual holiday trip to Hawaii, President Obama took questions from reporters today on the economy, health care, the NSA, and more.

Winding down a tough year for the White House, President Obama tried to hit the reset button before the new year with a rare meeting with the press.

When asked if this had been the worst year of his presidency, the President answered, "If I look at this past year, there are areas where there are obviously frustrations where I wish Congress had moved more aggressively. Not passing background checks in the wake of Newtown is something that I continue to believe was a mistake."

Amid a failure to pass new gun control measures, a public rebuke to his proposal to strike Syria, leaks about the surveillance community, and the government shutdown, the President's poll numbers took a beating -- hitting his lowest point yet.

Even healthcare.gov went down just hours before the press conference -- a grim reminder of the botched Obamacare rollout this fall.

"When you try to do something this big, and affecting this many people, it's going to be hard."

That, he said, was the biggest mistake he's made this year.

But he pointed out repeatedly that thousands of Americans are signing up successfully every day.

To the President, that's not the only bright spot.

"When I look at the landscape next year, we're poised to do really good things. the economy is stronger than it's been in a long time."

With today's briefing and all the bad news of this year behind him, the President is jetting off to Hawaii to spend the holidays with his family for their annual Christmas getaway.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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