- The Washington Times - Monday, December 26, 2016

President Obama is “confident” that he would have defeated Republican Donald Trump in a head-to-head match-up in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Mr. Obama recently joined his former chief strategist, David Axelrod, for a wide-ranging interview on CNN’s “The Axe Files.” The president talked about his childhood, Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign, and his plans for the future after leaving the White House.

“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” Mr. Obama said, CNN reported Monday. “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 president then stressed that President-elect Trump’s ability to secure 306 Electoral College votes compared to Mrs. Clinton’s 232 is not an indicator that “hope and change” was a political illusion.

“In the wake of the election and Trump winning, a lot of people have suggested that somehow, it really was a fantasy,” the president said. “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 full of energy and dynamism.”

Mr. Obama said that although “it feels like the band is breaking up a little bit,” he would turn an objective eye on his performance once Mr. Trump becomes the 45th U.S. commander in chief.

SEE ALSO: Obama: Americans criticize ‘fictional character named Barack’ created by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh

“I have to be quiet for a while. And I don’t mean politically, I mean internally. I have to still myself,” Mr. Obama said, CNN reported. “You have to get back in tune with your center and process what’s happened before you make a bunch of good decisions.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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