In an interview with David Axelrod released yesterday, December 26th, President Obama claimed that he would have defeated Donald Trump had he been allowed to run for a third term. "I'm confident that if I — if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it," Mr. Obama said.
President-elect responded on Twitter with a firm denial that Obama could have beaten him.
It's an interesting debate: President Obama won the popular vote in both the 2008 and 2012 election, while Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 but did not defeat Hillary Clinton in the popular vote.
Obama stressed his admiration for Clinton and said she had been the victim of unfair attacks. But, as he has in other exit interviews, he insisted that her defeat was not a rejection of the eight years of his presidency. To the contrary, he argued that he had put together a winning coalition that stretched across the country but that the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign had failed to follow through on it.