When asked by Matt Lauer about the political divisions across the nation – and in Washington especially – during his tenure, Obama responded: “It’s a regret.”
“I could not be prouder of what we accomplished and sometimes we look at the past through rose-colored glasses: It’s been pretty divided in the past. There have been times where people beat each other with canes. There have been times when it’s been pretty rough.”
He added: “There’s no doubt that politics in Congress are much more divided than the American people are.”
Today broadcast from the White House today and aired interviews with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the State of the Union address tonight
Obama told Lauer that each State of the Union address serves as a way to take stock of the events that impacted all of the United States, regardless of politics, in the last year.
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“We went through a lot over these last 10 years. We went through Katrina, we went through the Iraq War, we went through the worst financial crisis in our lifetimes. We are still battling terrorism. People are still recovering from the economic blows that hit,” he says. “It is important sometimes to take a step back and take a measure of how far we’ve come.”
Obama adds, “We remain the strongest nation on earth – by far.”
POTUS also spoke about his doubts that Donald Trump will be his successor.
“I’m pretty confident that the overwhelming majority of Americans are looking for the type of politics that does feed on our hopes, not our fears,” Obama says, saying that he can only imagine Trump giving a State of the Union address “in a Saturday Night skit.”
On a more serious note, though, Obama says, “anything’s possible and we shouldn’t be complacent.”