Politics

Obama Says He Is 'Confident' He Would Have Beaten Trump

| by Lauren Briggs

Despite throwing his support behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's losing presidential campaign, President Barack Obama believes that he would have won the election, were he allowed to run for a third term against President-elect Donald Trump.

"I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it," Obama told his former adviser, David Axelrod, in a podcast released on Dec. 27, according to CNN.

The president also discussed Clinton's surprise loss and praised her for putting forth what he called a progressive economic plan and echoing the Democratic Party's progressive platform on issues like education and family leave.

"Hillary Clinton performed wonderfully under really tough circumstances," Obama added. "I've said this publicly, I'll repeat it. I think there was a double standard with her. For whatever reason, there's been a longstanding difficulty in her relationship with the press that meant her flaws were wildly amplified."

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Obama went on to say that Clinton was not wrong to focus her campaign on attacking Trump and offering to continue the work of the current administration, despite what many "Monday morning quarterbacks" have said.

"If you think you're winning, then you have a tendency, just like in sports, maybe to play it safer," the president said. "And the economy has been improving. There is a sense, obviously, that some communities have been left behind from the recovery and people feeling anxious about that. But if she was looking at the campaign and saying 'OK, I'm winning right now' — and her economic agenda was in fact very progressive."

Indeed, Obama's approval rating has been climbing since 2015 and is now at 56 percent, according to Gallup polls, while the Obama administration claims responsibility for creating 15 million jobs since the economy crashed, notes CNN Money.

"In the wake of the election and Trump winning, a lot of people have suggested that somehow, it really was a fantasy," Obama told Axelrod of his 2008 presidential win. "What I would argue is, is that the culture actually did shift, that the majority does buy into the notion of a one America that is tolerant and diverse and open and full of energy and dynamism."

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Sources: CNN, Gallup, CNN Money / Photo credit: The White House (Pete Souza)/Flickr

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