President Obama is, not surprisingly, being asked to spend some time reflecting on his administration and the highs and lows of his years in the White House.
Obama said during a Fox News Sunday interview that the biggest error was a lack of planning for the 2011 aftermath of the fall of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
“Probably failing to plan for the day after what I think was the right thing to do in intervening in Libya.”
According to an article in CNN Politics, the President views Libya today as a “mess.”
National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said that Obama has expressed regrets, and continues to say, “all of us — including the United States — could have done more in the aftermath of the Libyan intervention.”
“Our coalition could have and should have done more to fill a vacuum left behind.”
On the flip side of the coin, President Obama said during the Fox interview that “saving the economy from another Great Depression” following the financial crisis in 2008 was his biggest achievement.
However, he added that the nation is “still shell-shocked from the financial meltdown of 2007 and 2008. Many people lost their homes, jobs, and savings, the president told Fox News Sunday, ‘and they still don’t fully know how that happened, and was the system fixed in a way that they can have confidence in.'”
— Fox Nation (@foxnation) April 10, 2016
His best day in office, he said, was the day health care reform was approved.
The worst was traveling to Newtown, Connecticut, to meet with parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre.
The president said his number one priority now is defeating the Islamic State. His number one job, he said, is to protect the American people, an article in USA Today stated.
“Disputing claims by Trump, Cruz and other Republicans that he is not taking the terrorist threat seriously enough, Obama said that ‘there isn’t a president who’s taken more terrorists off the field than me, over the last seven-and-a-half years.'”
But he stated that proposals by Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz will “undermine national security.”
According to the President, the nation should stand by its laws and values in the fight against the Islamic State.
“Obama criticized Cruz’s proposal to ‘carpet bomb’ Islamic State positions and Trump’s plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States until the terrorism problem is addressed.”
“We have to make sure that what we do doesn’t end up being counterproductive. Our approach has to be smart.”
Regardless of who wins the November presidential election, Obama vowed to stick by his Supreme Court choice of Merrick Garland until his term ends in January.
President Obama said that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal resulted from “careless” handling, but he added that politics will not affect the FBI investigation.
“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI — not just in this case, but in any case.”
Obama described Clinton as an “outstanding” Secretary of State, even though he questioned her use of private email.
“What I’ve also said is that — and she has acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing emails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”
While he could not comment in detail because the investigation is ongoing, Obama suggested that “overclassification” likely plays a part in the email issue.
While there is top-secret information that should not be shared, the president said there is material “being presented to the president or the Secretary of State, that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you could get in open-source.”
“I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security.”
Obama said when he winds up his presidency in January, the thing he will miss the most — “other than Air Force One” — is “the breadth of interactions” he has with the American people.
“When you are president, you meet people from every walk of life, every region. And it gives you a unique appreciation for this unbelievable country of ours.”
[Image via Ron Foster Sharif / Shutterstock.com]