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Obama tells Republicans he wants 'common ground'

world Updated: Nov 03, 2010 11:18 IST

US President Barack Obama told Republican congressional leaders that he wanted to find common ground after their crushing wins in mid-term elections, the White House said on early Wednesday.

Obama called John Boehner, widely expected to take over as speaker of the new Republican House of Representatives in January, and Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate, the White House said in a statement.

The president told the two that he was "looking forward to working with him and the Republicans to find common ground, move the country forward, and get things done for the American people," the statement said.

Boehner's office said that Obama and the Republican leader had a "brief but pleasant conversation."

"Leader Boehner said he's always been straightforward and honest with the president in the past, and said that's the way he'll continue to be with the president in the future," a statement said.

"They discussed working together to focus on the top priorities of the American people, which Boehner has identified as creating jobs and cutting spending."

Obama also called Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who exit polls said turned back a determined challenge for his Nevada seat from Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.