With less than two weeks on the clock, President Obama doesn't hesitate about whether ObamaCare will survive once he turns the keys over to Donald Trump: "I think it will," he tells ABC News' George Stephanopolous. "It may be called something else. If in fact the Republicans make some modifications ... and relabel it as TrumpCare, I'm fine with that." "I'm skeptical that they can do it, mainly because for seven years now, including when we first tried to pass health care, I said to them, 'OK, if this doesn't work, tell me what does.'" He concedes that "it is true theoretically that all that progress can be undone, and suddenly 20 million people or more don't have health insurance." But "I think Republicans now are recognizing that ...may not be what the American people, including even Trump voters, are looking for." Highlights from the interview, via ABC News and the Washington Post:
- On his relationship with Trump: He says the two "are sort of opposites in some ways," pegging himself as a "policy wonk," while Trump, he says, "has not spent a lot of time sweating the details." They have confidence in common. "It's probably a prerequisite for the job, or at least you have to have enough craziness to think that you can do the job."
- His advice for Trump: "The main thing that I've tried to transmit is that there's a difference between governing and campaigning, so that what he has to appreciate is as soon as you walk into this office after you've been sworn in, you're now in charge of the largest organization on Earth."
- On the soon-to-be tweeter-in-chief: "The day that he is the president of the United States, there are world capitals and financial markets and people all around the world who take really seriously what he says, and in a way that's just not true before you're actually sworn in as president."
- On Americans who look up to Vladimir Putin: "We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team. If we get to a point where people in this country feel more affinity with a leader who is an adversary and view the United States and our way of life as a threat to him, then we’re gonna have bigger problems than just cyberhacking."
- On whether he underestimated Putin: "“I don’t think I underestimated him, but I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation, for cyberhacking and so forth, to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices."
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