In his first full-scale press conference of the year, President Clinton criticized GOP reform efforts, even as he exhorted both parties to "go back to work" on behalf of the American people. Calling his record "pretty good," the president compared his economic and foreign-policy accomplishments to the agenda of the Republicans, who he said "target children in order to pay for tax cuts for upper-income Americans." Clinton underplayed the GOP's failure Thursday to pass the balanced budget amendment, saying he'd stand by the budget he sent to Congress last month. In doing so, he brushed off a challenge from House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who dared Clinton to "show the entire country, including Republicans, how he would achieve a balanced budget." Beneath it all, says TIME White House correspondent James Carney, Clinton "was trying out campaign lines. He's trying to make himself credible again, but he's still got some work to do."