Obama: I hope this new GOP House doesn’t pander to its base too much

Returning from his Hawaiian vacation on Air Force One overnight, President Obama offered a brief assessment of the Republicans who will return to Washington Wednesday, saying that he expects Republicans to “play to their base for a certain period of time.”

But Mr. Obama said he believes the Republicans in the Senate and the new leadership in the House will eventually play down politics in 2011 to focus on improving the nation’s economy.

“My expectation, my hope is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012,” Mr. Obama told reporters. “And that our job this year is to make sure that we build on recovery. We started making good progress on that in the lame-duck, and I expect to build on that progress when I get back.”