President Barack Obama bluntly predicted on Tuesday that a Democrat will succeed him after the 2016 presidential race.
“I’m anticipating a Democrat succeeding me,” Obama said. “I’m confident in the wisdom of the American people on that front.”
Obama made the comment at a press conference in Paris, where he is meeting with other world leaders for a global conference on climate change.
He was responding to a reporter’s question as to whether he’s confident that a Republican successor would follow through on a potential climate-change agreement.
Obama said that even if a Republican replaces him, the next president would still follow through on an agreement aiming to curb the effects of climate change.
“But even if somebody from a different party succeeded me, one of the things that you find is when you’re in this job, you think about it differently than when you’re just running for the job,” he said. “American leadership involves not just playing to a narrow constituency back home. But you are now in fact at the center of what happens around the world.”
Obama suggested other world leaders think climate change is “a really big problem,” even if Republicans don’t.
“So whoever is the next president of the United States, if they come in and they suggest somehow that that global consensus — not just 99.5% of scientists and experts, but 99% of world leaders — think this is really important, I think the president of the United States going to need to think this is really important,” he continued.
He further said the broader American public was with him on the issue.
“It’s important for us to not project what’s being said on a campaign trail but to do what’s right and make the case,” Obama said. “And I would note that the American people, I think in the most recent survey, two-thirds of them said America should be a signatory to any agreement that emerges that is actually addressing climate change in a serious way.”
Obama added: “So the good news is the politics inside the United States is changing as well.”
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