Obama: ‘A lot of people are going to look at our election results and think, ‘Well, this was just another Republican’
President Barack Obama said he believes his party’s recent electoral success in some ways explains the recent surge of Republican enthusiasm in some states, saying many voters are “willing to take the Republican path” to the White House.
In an interview on “Meet the Press” Sunday, the former president said he would welcome a challenge from the Republican nominee in November if they were willing to work with him on policy.
“If we don’t get the Republican nomination, we’re going to get a lot of Republicans, and if they want to take this path, I think we have to be willing to give it to them, and then hopefully we can work with them on the other side,” he said.
“But if we do get it, I hope we can have some constructive discussions with the Republicans about some issues.”
Obama, a Democrat, has said Republicans should not be allowed to run in November in a race against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who he said was the more qualified candidate to lead the country.
“They have the right to run, but I think it’s important that we recognize that in some places, they are a little bit more comfortable running, as opposed to the other way around,” he told host Chuck Todd in a Monday interview.
Obama also said he hoped that the Democratic National Committee and other political groups would make sure their campaigns were working with the White Houses campaigns to help them.
“I’m not sure that you’ve had the Republican campaigns, because it’s not been like that in my lifetime, that they’ve been going to the RNC or doing things like that,” he added.
“It would be nice if they would have the resources to get that going.”
Obama was asked about a new report that Republican operatives are trying to recruit and train new Republican voters to vote for the party’s nominee.
“There’s a lot happening in some Republican circles that I don’t think are helpful,” he replied.
“And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because I think there are a lot more voters that want to vote Republican, than there are people that want [to] vote Democrat.”
Obama said Republican leaders were not interested in reaching out to voters.
“We need to find a way to make sure that when the next president is in office, that we are helping them to make decisions that benefit all of our people,” he continued.
“So I think that it is going to be a little hard to get our party to say, ‘No, we want to talk to you about this, because this is not going to happen.'”
Obama said some Republicans were already working with other Republicans to get them to work together on issues like infrastructure and gun control.
“What they’re saying is that we’re not going anywhere,” he explained.
“Because we’re on the right track, we’ve made some progress.
We’ve been in a majority in Congress, we have a majority of governors, we are going in the right direction, we can pass legislation, and we can solve some of these problems.”
The president also said there were many issues Republicans would have to deal with to ensure that they could take on Clinton in the White Senate.
“You can’t go to the Senate and start talking about a bill that’s a big spending bill that increases spending on programs that are in need of a lot less spending on the programs that people need,” he insisted.
“The Senate will not do that.”
Obama also reiterated that he would not be seeking re-election if he lost the presidency.
“No matter how bad things get, I’m not going back,” he declared.
“That’s a fact.
And it’s a reality, because there are some very real consequences to losing the presidency.”