Obama Exclusive on Health Care: 'We Intend to Get Something Done'

But Obama said it is the press, not him, that has had trouble maintaining focus in the 24-hour news cycle, which he called "the equivalent of reality TV.

"Part of the frustration I have is that, on the Republican side, there are wonderful people whose voices I think are tamped down. That it is the shock jocks and radio hosts and the TV hosts that are driving the debate on that side," Obama said.

Obama's Education Speech to Children

Obama's prime-time address before Congress was preceded this week by another highly anticipated speech, his remarks to children about education.

Some conservatives argued that children should not be forced to watch the president and claimed Obama would use the opportunity to spread what they called liberal propaganda to the children.

Obama called the controversy over the speech "puzzling."

"And what we wanted to do today was to send that same message to the kids, that education isn't a passive experience. You don't just wait for somebody else to educate you," Obama told Roberts. "So, ironically, this is actually a speech that should appeal across political spectrums."

The president said speaking to the children reminded him of what is at stake.

"If we can stay focused on what's important and not spend a lot of time trying to score political points, then I really think that not only do we serve those young people well, but we serve the country well," Obama said.

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