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Obama May Break With Convention Post-Presidency

To 'defend our ideals', he'll criticize his successor if he has to
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2016 1:20 AM CST
Updated Nov 21, 2016 6:31 AM CST
Obama: I'll Speak Out Against Trump If I Have to
President Obama is seen at a town hall with Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative in Lima, Peru, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Donald Trump promises to be an unconventional president—and President Obama might break with convention by speaking out against him. At a press conference in Peru on Sunday, Obama, describing himself as an "American citizen who cares deeply about our country," refused to rule out publicly criticizing his successor, the BBC reports. "I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off," he said. But if an issue "goes to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it's necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I'll examine it when it comes," he added.

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Obama, on the last day of what is expected to be his final overseas trip as president, also said that "people should take a wait-and-see approach" to the new administration and that Democrats should "fight for their principles," but also find a way to work with the opposition where they are doing "something that's good for the American people," Politico reports. The New York Times reports that Obama made similar remarks about speaking out against Trump in a speech last week to Organizing for Action, the nonprofit group focused on supporting his agenda. "I'm going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen,” he told activists. "But that's not so far off." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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