President Barack Obama said “there are no existential threats facing” the United States.
In an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on “Today” airing Tuesday, Obama acknowledged, “We are still battling terrorism” but he insisted, “We remain the strongest nation on earth by far and there are no existential threats facing us, but if we make some good choices now, whoever the next president is, whoever is controlling the next Congress there, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t own the 21st century.” (VIDEO: Obama: ISIS Not Gaining Strength)
Ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union, Lauer asked Obama, “Now I know in your speech it’s traditional to say the state of the union is strong. When it comes to the emotional state of our union and when I go out and talk to people the words I hear them most often in terms of how they are feeling right now, they talk about fear. They talk about frustration. They talk about fatigue. Any of those words surprise you?” VIDEO: Obama Says He Will Stand Up To ISIS By Attending Global Warming Conference)
“No,” Obama claimed. “I think, you know, 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 some of the economic blows that hit, and it is sometimes important for us to step back and take measure of how far we’ve come. The economy right now is doing better than any other economy in the world by a significant margin. We remain the strongest nation on earth by far, and there are no existential threats facing us, but if we make some good choices now, whoever the next president is, whoever is controlling the next Congress there, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t own the 21st century.” (VIDEO: McCain: ISIS Telling Terrorists To Embed With Refugee Flow
Laure followed up, asking, “That fear though is still incredibly real and in some ways it’s driving the current presidential campaign. … Do you take responsibility for that. … So after seven years of the Obama presidency do you feel you’re responsible for a certain hunger out there for the message that Donald Trump is putting out?”
“The message that Donald Trump is putting out has had adherents a lot of times during the course of our history,” Obama claimed. “You know, talk to me if he wins, then we’ll have a conversation about how responsible I feel about it, but I’m pretty confident that the overwhelming majority of Americans are looking for the kind of politics that does feed our hopes and not our fears, that does work together and doesn’t try to divide us, that isn’t looking for simplistic solutions and scapegoating but looks for us buckling down and figuring out how to do we make things work for the next generation.”