In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, President Barack Obama said he’ll be ready for his GOP challenger next year — and offered up some advice to Texas Governor Rick Perry after his recent gaffes.Asked what he though of the field lining up to oppose him, Obama replied, “You know, I haven’t been giving it too much thought. I — I figure that I’ll let them winnow it down a little bit. When they — when they decide who they want their standard-bearer to be, then I’ll be ready for them.”
The interview came on the second day of Obama’s bus tour through the Midwest — an opportunity he is using to push job creation legislation and reconnect with the nation’s heartland.
When Blitzer mentioned Perry’s comments on Obama’s lack of military service – implying that the troops do not respect him as Commander in Chief, Obama said he’d “cut him some slack. He’s only been at it for a few days now.”
“You know, Mr. Perry just got into the presidential race,” Obama said. “I think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realising that this isn’t like running for governor or running for senator or running for Congress. And you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say.”
The president added that he is aware that the American people are anxious for more action on the economy — saying that while Congress is to blame, “what I continue to believe is that ultimately the buck stops with me. I’m going to be accountable.”
“I think people understand that a lot of these problems were decades in the making,” he said. “People understand that this financial crisis was the worst since the Great Depression. But ultimately, they say, look, he’s the president, we think he has good intentions but we’re impatient and we want to see things move faster. And I understand that. I’m sympathetic to it. And we’re going to just keep on putting forward ideas that are going to be good for the country. We’re going to need a partner from Congress.”