Obama: We are moving 'in the right direction'

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Obama cast himself much as he did in 2008 -- as an above-the-fray reform candidate -- in a pre-taped interview that aired on NBC's Today on Monday morning, arguing that he still needs time to enact the change he promised and will continue the work of his first term if reelected.

"One of the things about being president, is you get better as time goes on," Obama told NBC's Matt Lauer. 

Obama touted the accomplishments of his administration in the face of a gridlocked Congress -- saving the auto industry, ending the Iraq war on schedule, ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and stabilizing a sinking economy -- and suggested that better times are ahead.

At the same time, he dismissed concerns that his supporters are disappointed.

“I think this is the nature of being president. What’s disappointed people is that I haven’t been able to force Congress to implement everything I said in 2008,” he said. “What we have been able to do is move in the right direction.”

Obama also expressed distaste over so-called “super PACs” and the role they have played in this year’s election, but suggested that the “big money” in politics these days will make it hard to run an entirely positive campaign.

However, he said, a vision for the future is key to winning the election.

“You have to explain to the people what your plan is to make sure they have good jobs at good wages, and the economy is growing over the long term,” Obama said. “Whoever wins that argument, I think will be the next president.”

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