President Obama's Biggest Frustration
In an excerpt of an interview that will air Monday morning on CBS, President Obama reflected on the lessons of his first term, expressing frustration with what his administration has been able to accomplish.
"I think it's important to know we did an awful lot in the first four years," Obama told Charlie Rose in an interview taped in the White House last week. "But when I think about the next four years, what's undone?"
Obama said that the bulk his frustrations with the presidency have stemmed not from his workload, but from the political climate in Washington.
"It's not the, you know, enormity of the decisions," he said. "It's not the pace. It is that I haven't been able to change the atmosphere here in Washington to reflect the decency and common sense of ordinary people -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents -- who I think just want to see their leadership solve problems. And, you know, there's enough blame to go around for that."
He continued: "I think there is no doubt that I underestimated the degree to which in this town politics trumps problem-solving."
The president also said if he were in Mitt Romney's shoes, he would be "making the same argument" about the Obama White House not doing enough to pull the country out of its economic slump.
"In this office, everything takes a little longer than you'd like," he said.
In another excerpt from the same interview released last week, Obama said his biggest mistake in his presidency "was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right."
"The nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times," Obama said.
Romney's campaign immediately hit back on the comment, issuing a statement criticizing the president's leadership.
"Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency," the statement read.
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