Barack Obama for awhile has confidently insisted that Donald Trump will be defeated by Hillary Clinton in November. But now the President is cautiously backpedaling those comments with his latest interview.
“Anything’s possible,” Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” that aired Wednesday. “It is the nature of democracy that until those votes are cast and the American people have their say, we don’t know.”
The comments stand in stark contrast to the exuberant confidence Obama has shown in the past when discussing the 2016 race, believing it would be an easy chalk up for the Democrats. In February, with the Republican nomination fight just getting underway, Obama scoffed on the prospect of a Trump presidency.
“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president,” Obama said during a press conference at the U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Rancho Mirage, California. “And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people. And I think they recognize that being president is a serious job.” Obama then maintained that confidence at a Democratic fundraiser in April, when he assured a group of party donors that “Mr. Trump is not succeeding me.”
But polls in the last week have shown a marginally thinning race, as Trump has been overtaking Hillary Clinton in many fields. A CNN/ORC poll released Monday showed Trump emerging with a five-point edge over Clinton coming out of his party’s national convention.