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February 07, 2013

A humble Obama addresses House Democrats

President Barack Obama addressed House of Representatives Democrats Thursday and offered a humble message: We don't know everything, but we're ready to fight.

He joked how he "just made a big speech" on immigration, and will make another big speech Tuesday when he delivers the State of the Union address, so he promised to keep his latest remarks short.

"I don't want you guys tired of me," Obama said.

He warned the Democrats, meeting at the Landsdowne Resort in Virginia for a three-day retreat, to remember that though he won the presidency, the country remains big and diverse.

"We don't have a monopoly on wisdom," Obama said.

He talked about his proposal for avoiding the $85 billion in automatic spending cuts due to take effect March 1, and how Republicans insist only on spending cuts. Obama wants a combination of cuts and revenues.

"That's an argument I'm more than willing to engage in," he said.

But Obama had another warning: "it won't be smooth. It won't be simple. There will be frustration. There will be times you guys are mad at me."

The audience was not fazed. It applauded warmly at the 15 minute talk.


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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