President Barack Obama said in an interview Sunday that he’s not sure what role he will play in the 2016 race for the White House because American people will want that “new car smell” when it comes to the campaign for his sucessor that has already begun.
“I think the American people, you know, they're going to want -- you know, that new car smell,” Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week.” “You know...they want to drive something off the lot that doesn't have as much mileage as me.”
Obama acknowledged that he’s taken some “dings” over the years. “When you’ve been president for six years you know, you’ve got some dings,” he laughed.
He said he speaks frequently to his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and that she would make “a great president.” But was quick to say that other Democrats would make “terrific presidents” too.
“I am very interested in making sure that I’ve got a Democratic successor,” he said. “So I’m gonna do everything I can, obviously, to make sure that whoever the nominee is is successful. If she decides to run, I think she will be a formidable candidate and I think she’d be a great president.”
Obama called her a “friend” but said that she will likely disagree with him on issues.
“She's not going to agree with me on everything. And, you know, one of the benefits of running for president is you can stake out your own positions,” he said.
Stephanopoulos taped the interview Friday in Las Vegas, where Obama traveled to speak about his executive actions on immigration.
He brushed off criticism for his executive action by Republicans, again asking the House of Representatives to vote on a bill.
“My response is pass a bill,” he said. “Congress has a responsibility to deal with these issues and there are some things that I can’t do on my own.”
Obama announced Thursday he was easing the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants, including those who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents and who have been in the country for five years to remain in the country temporarily.
House Speaker John Boehner has not given any indication he will act on immigration this year. Republicans will control both chambers of Congress in January.