He added: "What I'm not going to do is just wait."
Obama pushed back against the argument that acting on immigration unilaterally would hurt the chances for a bipartisan bill. "I think that the best way, if folks are serious about getting immigration reform done, is going ahead and passing a bill. And getting it to my desk. And then the executive actions that I take go away."
Obama said that his "hope" is that Mitch McConnell, the presumptive next Senate majority leader, and House Speaker John Boehner have "some specific things they want to do" that they can work together to get done.
"I would enjoy having some Kentucky bourbon with Mitch McConnell," Obama said. "I think we can have a productive relationship."
Obama said that it's "premature" to discuss any personnel changes at the White House following Tuesday's losses.
In his remarks, Obama also praised voters in Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Illinois for passing laws to raise the state minimum wage.
"In the five states where a minimum-wage increase was on the ballot last night, voters went five for five to increase it," Obama said. "That should give us more reason to get it done for everybody."
The press conference wasn't all about the midterms. One reporter asked Obama whether the ongoing U.S. mission to combat the Islamic State terrorist group was working.
"Well, I think it's too early to say whether we are winning because, as I said at the outset of the ISIL campaign, this is going to be a long-term plan to solidify the Iraqi government, to solidify their security forces, to make sure that in addition to our air cover, that they have the capacity to run a ground game that pushes ISIL back from some of the territories that they had taken," the president said, using a different name for the group.
On health care, Obama suggested that there are "places" in Obamacare that could be changed, but he obviously would not sign off on any kind of repeal. "The individual mandate is a line I can't cross," he added.
The midterm elections served as a referendum on the president's health care and foreign policies, which pushed voters to embrace the GOP. Obama campaigned for his party in only the safest races, and stayed clear of districts in which Republicans threatened to defeat Democrats. And defeat the Democrats they did, easily taking over the Senate and picking up at least nine seats in the House.
Some Democrats' displeasure with the president was on full display Wednesday morning. "The president's approval rating is barely 40 percent," David Krone, current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's chief of staff, told The Washington Post. "What else more is there to say? ... He wasn't going to play well in North Carolina or Iowa or New Hampshire. I'm sorry. It doesn't mean that the message was bad, but sometimes the messenger isn't good."