WASHINGTON — Citing progress on the economy, President Barack Obama said at his annual year-end news conference Friday that 2014 "can be a breakthrough year for America" after a long era of recession and slow recovery.
Praising Congress for a recent, relatively modest budget compromise, the president said, "It's probably too early to declare an outbreak of bipartisanship. But it's also fair to say we're not condemned to endless gridlock."
Obama spoke from the White House briefing room podium as he concluded his fifth year in office. He and his family were departing later in the day for their holiday vacation in Hawaii.
Asked if this year had been the worst of his presidency so far, he laughed and said, "That's not how I think about it."