President Barack Obama suggested that if he had been eligible to run for a third term, he would have been able to rally Americans behind his message of a more tolerant and diverse nation.
During an interview with his former adviser David Axelrod on his podcast “The Axe Files,” Obama referred to a speech by Henry Cabot Lodge, the point of which, Obama said, was “not to bury that ugliness,” that “there’s this thing in this country that is good and unifies us and, ultimately, will win out.”
He went on to tell Axelrod that although he saw that spirit of America show itself in all sorts of ways during his eight years in office, he also saw that “the resistance to that vision of America, which has always been there, was always powerful, mobilized and asserted itself powerfully.”
For the past year and a half, there’s been endless conversation about the shift in America and in the world itself. Although Obama acknowledged that change, he does differ in opinion on one vital point:
“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 — and full of energy and dynamism. And, and the problem is, it doesn’t always manifest itself in politics, right?”
The outgoing president continued, “You know, 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. I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.”
The complete interview can be heard here.
President-elect Donald Trump went on defense, taking to Twitter with his opinion of Obama’s interview:
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on Jan. 20, 2017.