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Obama denies being aloof, says 'I like a good party'

Published on Jan 15, 2013 6:04 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Monday dismissed the perception that he is aloof and disdains the backslapping bonhomie a US leader sometimes requires to drive his priorities through Congress.

Mr Obama put his often polarising differences with Republicans down to politics rather than personal antipathy, arguing that though he had enjoyed a round of golf with House Speaker John Boehner, it had not helped get things done.

"With respect to this 'truism' about me not socialising enough and patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me know I'm a pretty friendly guy. And I like a good party," Mr Obama said.

The president said that when he has members of Congress to the White House for an annual picnic: "Michelle and I are very nice to them and we have a wonderful time. But it doesn't prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and blasting me for being a big-spending socialist," the president quipped.

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