Barack Obama doesn’t want the next Democratic nominee for president — whoever that may be, since he’s not endorsing — to be considered as running for a “third term” extension of his own presidency.
In an interview with CBS News’ Major Garrett that aired Thursday, Obama praised both Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who are considered potential contenders for the Democratic nomination in 2016.
The President added that he hopes the next Democratic nominee continues to focus on the growing the middle class and the job market.
“I am very much interested in making sure that some of the stuff that we’ve gotten started continues,” he said.
It got awkward when Garrett suggested Obama was implying the next Democratic nominee would extend his agenda into a third term.
“It sounds like what you’re describing is whoever the candidate would be would be running for a third term of the Obama presidency, or an extension of the Obama agenda, is that true?” he asked.
“Oh, I don’t want to necessarily jam them up,” Obama responded. “We are all part of this relay race. Whether we’re vice presidents, presidents — the truth is we build off of what folks have done previously, and some cases that includes by the way Republican presidents.”
“That’s the beauty of our democracy. It keeps on evolving and I’m sure that there are going to be some things that, whoever the next president is, want to continue,” he added. “There are going to be some things that they’re going to want to do differently. But the trajectory is hopefully going to be one in which we’re broadening opportunity for every American.”
Watch below, courtesy of CBS:
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.