Three years ago, President Obama said that if he hadn’t fixed the economy within three years, his presidency would be a “one-term proposition” — words that are coming back to haunt him as Republicans use them to argue against his re-election. But in a pre-Super Bowl interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Obama said that he deserves a second term, but understands why voters are frustrated.
“I deserve a second term, but we’re not done,” he said.
Obama said that when he made the one-term comment, the economy was losing 750,000 jobs a month and, pointing to the January jobs report, he said that 250,000 jobs had been created that month.
“We’ve been able to get a lot done — not as fast as we want. Sometimes it’s messy. The process is frustrating,” Obama said. “I do think that this is going to be a critical election because, having yanked ourselves out of the risk of a great depression, having stabilized the economy, we now have a broader question, which is how do we take it to the next level?”
Obama also acknowledged that it has been difficult to change the way Washington works, but said he will continue “plodding away” at it.
“What we’ve been able to do is move in the right direction. And what I’m just going to keep on doing is plodding away, very persistent,” he said. “And you know what? One of the things about being president is you get better as time goes on.”
In a segment of the interview that aired Monday’s Today show, Obama praised the job that his wife has done as first lady, even though she initially had reservations about “going on this journey.” He added that she’s ready for a second term because of how important their work is.
“And I think even those folks who wish that I was doing more of this or more of that or questioning me on these policies or those policies, when you ask them about Michelle Obama, they give her a thumbs up, and rightfully so,” Obama said.
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