Obama offers praise, complaints for Republicans

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By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to his relations with Congress, President Barack Obama is a man of two minds.

He needled a Republican senator Tuesday during a news conference. Then he praised Republicans working on an immigration overhaul.

He said he wanted to work with Congress to close the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. He then decried Congress as dysfunctional.

He cast Republicans as potential allies, then criticized their obstruction.

The 47-minute news conference illustrated the complicated and sometimes contradictory approach he has taken in his dealings with lawmakers.

But he dismissed a question about his influence with Congress.

He said: "Rumors of my demise may be a little exaggerated at this point."

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