Posted at: 11/14/2012 1:04 PM
Updated at: 11/14/2012 4:21 PM
By: Steve Handelsman, NBC News
In his first news conference since winning re-election, President Obama said Wednesday the American people understood what they were getting when they kept him in the White House: Someone who backs higher taxes on the rich.
President Obama tried to show off the power he won thru re-election, claiming voters back his call for tax hikes on the rich, but that message had a distraction: The Petraeus problem.
"I have no evidence at this point from what I've seen that classified info was disclosed, that in any way would have had a negative impact on our national security," he said of issue.
Mr. Obama is withholding judgment on the FBI's handling of the investigation, and he praised his ex-CIA chief.
"We are safer because of the work Dave Petraeus has done," he told reporters.
Issue two was the fiscal cliff and taxes.
"What I'm not going to do is to extend further tax cuts to folks who don't need it," the president vowed.
He'll face strong Republican opposition, but added "I recognize that we're going to have to compromise and as I said on election night, compromise is hard."
The terrorist attack in Benghazi was also front and center.
Republicans are demanding a new investigation and warned the president not to nominate United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice as his new Secretary of State, pointing out she initially claimed Benghazi was a riot gone wrong.
Clearly angered by that line of attack the president demanded that his critics "go after me," the adding that "to besmirch her reputation...is outrageous!"
Mostly he came across mellow, a victor reaching out to his opponents, and with both sides not really far apart on taxes, the president clearly hopes his re-election will tip the balance, get him a few Republican votes and a deal he likes to avoid the fiscal cliff.