Obama: I Would Have Enjoyed Running Against Trump
Policy + Politics

Obama: I Would Have Enjoyed Running Against Trump


President Obama might have a little election 2016 envy.

In a wide-ranging interview with GQ Magazine, Obama, a term-limited incumbent with only 14 months left in office, said it “would’ve been fun” to campaign against GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump.

The comments, published on Tuesday, are similar to those Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has made in the past about hoping to face the billionaire in next year’s general election.

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In the GQ interview, Obama talks about the lessons he’s learned after nearly seven years in the Oval Office, raising two teenage daughters and how he watches “Game of Thrones” while working late at night.

He told his interviewer, HBO’s Bill Simmons, that his favorite character “is probably … the dwarf,” referring to Tyrion Lannister.

“The problem with ‘Game of Thrones,’ though, is that I don’t remember the names of any of the characters,” Obama admitted. “I remember the characters, so when I watch it, I know exactly what’s going on. But if you read a review of the show afterwards and they’re mentioning such and such, the only one I remember is Jon Snow, because I can pronounce Jon Snow.”

Asked which “Game of Thrones” character is most comparable to Trump, Obama replied: “Uh … I don’t think … I don’t think any of them rise to that level.”

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“If you were campaigning against Trump, would you even bother? Would it be like LaBradford Smith talking trash to [Michael] Jordan or something?” Simmons asked. (NBA great Michael Jordan once claimed that LaBradford Smith, a little-remembered player on the Washington Bullets, once trash-talked him after scoring 37 points against Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Jordan got his revenge, scoring 36 points in the teams’ next meeting.)

“I would’ve enjoyed campaigning against Trump. That would’ve been fun,” Obama replied.

He also told Simmons that he had smoked zero cigarettes "in the last five years."

"I made a promise that once health care passed, I would never have a cigarette again. And I have not," Obama said.

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While the president was ready to weigh in on the GOP’s top candidate, he shied away from picking between Vice President Biden, who opted not to run, and Clinton, his former secretary of State.

"Which leadership style suits your vision of where America should go forward? Biden or Hillary?” Simmons asked.

Obama laughed and said, “Come on, Bill.”