President Barack Obama praised Hillary Clinton during an interview with ABC News on Sunday, saying that she would be “a great president” if she decided to run for the White House in 2016. Clinton, who served as Obama’s secretary of state in his first term, is reportedly expected to announce her decision about her willingness to run in early 2015.
Obama reportedly said during "This Week" that people want a “new car smell” after his eight years in office and that Clinton would make a "formidable candidate." Describing Clinton as a “friend,” Obama reportedly said that the two spoke on a regular basis. He also said that there were many Democratic Party candidates who would make “terrific presidents,” but only mentioned Clinton by name. Obama reportedly said that, the fact that Clinton did not agree with him on everything could prove to be a stance that will be welcomed by voters.
Clinton, who has criticized some of Obama's foreign policy decisions, also reportedly praised Obama's executive action to protect millions of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. On Saturday, Clinton reportedly called the decision a "historic step" and said she supported it. In 2008, the 67-year-old wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton lost the Democratic presidential nomination campaign to Obama.
During the interview, Obama also reportedly spoke about Iran’s nuclear program, repeating his earlier view that there are still “significant” gaps in talks with Iran.
He also reportedly urged the people of Ferguson, Missouri, to maintain calm ahead of a grand jury decision in the shooting death of Michael Brown, who was shot by officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9, triggering weeks of protests in the St. Louis suburb.
Here are some of the main quotes from Obama’s interview with ABC News on Sunday.
"I think the American people, you know, they're gonna want, you know, that new car smell. They want to drive something off the lot that doesn't have as much mileage as me.”
-- On 2016 White House run for the presidency.
“If they want me to do some selective things, I'll be happy to do 'em, but I suspect that folks will be ready to see me go off to the next thing.”
-- On campaigning for Democratic nominees.
"One of the benefits of running for president is you can stake out your own positions, and have a clean slate, a fresh start."
-- On benefits of running for president.
“The good news is that the interim deal that we entered into has definitely stopped Iran’s nuclear program from advancing.”
-- On talks over Iran’s nuclear program.
“You know, I’m going to wait and see how the response comes about. But what does make sense is for not just me, but my entire administration, to work with willing partners at the state and local level to see how we can address some of these systematic issues… This is a country that allows everybody to express their views. Allows them to peacefully assemble, to protest actions that they think are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”
-- On the grand jury decision and protests over Brown’s fatal shooting.