President Barack Obama firmly defended his signature health care bill to a roomful of newly elected governors Thursday, many of them Republicans elected by railing against him and the expanding reach of the federal government.
"I'm president, and I've got another two years to go," Obama told the group when challenged on the health care legislation, according to governor-elect Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.
"The president was very firm that he does stand by his health care bill," Fallin told reporters. "He did acknowledge that he knew the Republicans in Congress and the conservatives around the nation are concerned and would like to repeal the health care bill."
Obama was addressing an audience that included many Republicans like Fallin who ran successful campaigns against what they deemed federal overreach, arguing for overturning the health care overhaul and canceling Obama's economic stimulus spending. Their arguments won out and Republicans will control a majority of statehouses nationwide come January.
But Obama told the governors-elect that states could only go so far in pushing the federal government out of the way.