Here’s the full audio of President Barack Obama’s interview with David Axelrod on ‘The Axe Files’ podcast. He spoke about the 2016 election, saying he was “confident” he could have won against President-Elect Trump. He addressed many other topics regarding his Presidency and his legacy on the “exit interview” on CNN Presents the the University of Chicago Politics a range of topics including the Presidential election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump and more. The replay and more details are below.
David Axelrod was formerly President Obama’s chief strategist during his campaign and his senior advisor in the White House.
On his prospects for winning in 2016 President Obama 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 — and full of energy and dynamism.
And — and the problem is, it doesn’t always manifest itself in politics, right? You know, I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it.
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.
On Hillary Clinton’s candidacy:
I think that Hillary Clinton performed wonderfully under really tough circumstances. I’ve said this publicly, I’ll repeat it. I think there was a double standard with her. For whatever reason, there’s been a longstanding difficulty in her relationship with the press that meant her flaws were wildly amplified relative to…
On conservative media:
You are then more subject to the filter. And this is — you know, I brought up Fox News, but it was Rush Limbaugh and the NRA and there are all these mediators who are interpreting what we do, and if we’re not actually out there like we are during campaigns, then folks in — in a lot of these communities, what they’re hearing is Obama wants to take away my guns…Obamacare’s about transgender bathrooms and not my job, Obama is disrespecting my culture and is primarily concerned with coastal elites and minorities. And so — so part of what I’ve struggled with during my presidency and part of what I think I’ll be thinking a lot about after my presidency is how do we work around all these filters?
And it becomes more complicated now that you’ve got social media, where people are getting news that reinforces their biases and — and separates people out instead of bringing them together. It is going to be a challenge, but look, you look at what we did in rural communities, for example…
Photo credit: screenshot via White House YouTube
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