In an interview released Monday, President Obama said that he could have beaten Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump “if I had run again.”
Former Obama adviser and longtime friend David Axelrod, a CNN analyst, interviewed the outgoing president for his podcast The Axe Files, CNN reports. In the interview, Obama says that Hillary Clinton’s campaign behaved cautiously out of a mistaken belief that victory was a sure thing.
“If you think you’re winning, then you have a tendency, just like in sports, to maybe play it safer,” Obama said. The president said that Clinton understandably focused on what Trump was doing and saying.
As the Washington Post notes, Trump took exception to the president’s critique and responded on Twitter:
Obama also said that Clinton’s loss was not a rejection of the eight years of his presidency. He said that he had put together a winning coalition that stretched across the country, but the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign failed to follow through on it.
“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,” the president said.
In an interview with the Post, Axelrod said that he believes Obama went further than he had before in critiquing Clinton’s campaign.
“This was all in service of making the point that he believes that his progressive vision and the vision he ran on is still a majority view in this country,” Axelrod said. “He chooses to be hopeful about the future.”
Unfortunately for us, the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution makes it impossible for Obama to have run for a third term. It states, “No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice.”
Maybe we should have been working on getting rid of that amendment while he was still in office.