President Obama said Sunday that he deserves to be reelected because his administration has made progress on the economy, but he acknowledged there is much more work to do.
“I deserve a second term, but we’re not done,” Obama said during a pre-Super Bowl interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, who noted that Obama had told him in a 2009 interview that if the economy was still recovering in 2012, he would be a one-term president.
“When you and I sat down, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. . . now we’re creating 250,000 jobs,” Obama said, referring to Friday’s jobs report which showed unemployment falling from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent.
“We’ve made progress. The key now is to make sure we don’t start turning in the wrong direction,” he said.
According to The Huff Post, the president said he needs another term to do more to boost American manufacturing, energy and job training.
Echoing the theme of his State of the Union address last month, he said he also needs more time to ensure the country’s “return to old-fashioned American values,” referring to what has become his mantra about economic and social fairness.
“That means, for example, regulations to make sure that Wall Street is following the same rules that Main Street’s doing,” the president said.
“But we’ve made progress. And the key right now is to make sure we don’t start turning in a new direction that could throw that progress off.”
Obama also addressed escalating concerns about Iran’s nuclear weapons program, after Israeli leaders warned last week of possible airstrikes against Iranian nuclear sites, The Washington Post reports.
President Obama said he does not think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran over its disputed nuclear program. “I don’t think that Israel has made a decision on what they need to do,” Obama said.
According to Newser, he reiterated that the United States has removed no option from consideration in dealing with Iran an allusion to military intervention but emphasized that the United States wants a diplomatic solution built around a world coalition.
Iran insists its nuclear pursuits are for peaceful civilian purposes, not a bomb. Obama refused to say whether the United States would get notice from Israel before any potential strike on Iran.
“I will say that we have closer military and intelligence consultation between our two countries than we’ve ever had,” Obama said, adding, “We are going to be sure that we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this hopefully diplomatically.”
He defended his administration’s approach of applying pressure through multilateral economic sanctions, saying Iran is “feeling the pinch.”
As he has said before, Obama said all options remain on the table, but he added that “obviously any additional military activities inside the Gulf would be disruptive. Our preferred solution is diplomatic. We will do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating an arms race in that volatile region.”
As for the Super Bowl, the president wouldn’t make any prediction about whether the game will go to the New England Patriots or the New York Giants.
But he conceded that the first lady and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, agree with many women across the country that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a hunk.
“I think they know he’s a good-looking guy,” Obama said, adding that his daughters aren’t old enough to be decorating their bedrooms with pictures of celebrity heartthrobs.
“The girls, 13 and 10, they’re not quite at the age yet where they start putting up the pictures of guys yet,” Obama said. “When that happens, I may call some executive privilege and say that’s not appropriate.”