Obama concedes need for 'midcourse corrections' after election beating

US President Barack Obama acknowledged that he must make some "midcourse corrections" if he is going to win over a frustrated electorate and work with empowered Republicans.

Speaking on an economic tour of Asian nations, Mr Obama told college students in Mumbai that the midterm elections back home reflected the "right, obligation and duty" of people to express their unhappiness by voting out many incumbents.

The president himself was not on ballot papers last week, but his Democratic Party took a beating.

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Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, eroded the Democratic majority in the Senate, made huge gains at the state level and broadly changed the political landscape as Mr Obama positions himself for his own re-election bid in 2012.

Mr Obama said he would not change his determination to invest money in education, infrastructure and clean energy at a time when the pressures in Washington are to slash spending.

But he said the election "requires me to make some mid-course corrections and adjustments".

He said how those will play out over the next several months will depend on his talks with Republicans.

A town hall with a group of students is now a staple of Mr Obama's foreign travel. It was part of his outreach to India, a democracy of more than a billion people. India is an emerging power in Asia and an increasingly important partner to the US on trade and security, in part because its rise offers a measure of balance to the growing strength of China.

Asked for his views on jihad, Obama described Islam as a religion of peace and understanding, yet one that terrorists have sought to distort by justifying killings in the name of religion. "I think all of us have to fundamentally reject the notion that violence is a way to mediate our differences," he said.

In response to a question about his policy toward Afghanistan, Mr Obama said a "stable Afghanistan is achievable".

He is in the midst of his length- iest trip abroad as president, a 10-day journey across India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.