WASHINGTON — Barack Obama has long insisted that Donald Trump will be defeated in November. But these days, the President won’t rule anything out.
“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 contrast to the steely confidence Obama has shown in the past when discussing the 2016 race. In February, with the Republican nomination fight just getting underway, Obama splashed cold water 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 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 tightening race, with Trump overtaking Hillary Clinton in some instances. A CNN/ORC poll released Monday showed Trump emerging with a five-point edge over Clinton coming out of his party’s national convention.
Asked by “Today” host Savannah Guthrie if Obama is “worried” about a possible Trump victory, Obama said he’s “seen all kinds of crazy stuff happen” in his political career.
“I think anybody who goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing,” Obama said.