NPR News Interview With President Barack Obama NPR News Interview With President Barack Obama

NPR News Interview With President Barack Obama

Full video available now at NPR.org

August 10, 2015; Washington, D.C. – In an extensive video interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, U.S. President Barack Obama discusses the Iranian nuclear deal and offers his perspective on the state of government, politics and race in America.

President Obama speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep Morgan Walker/NPR hide caption

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Morgan Walker/NPR

President Obama speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep

Morgan Walker/NPR

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A full video and transcript of the interview are available now at It's All Politics. Select excerpts are included, below. The two-part radio broadcast airs on Morning Edition on Tuesday, August 11, and on Wednesday, August 12. Find local stations and broadcast times at npr.org/stations.

On whether he is comfortable with moving forward with the Iranian nuclear deal if most of Congress is against it, President Obama says: "Well, what I know is, is that unfortunately, a large portion of the Republican party, if not a near unanimous portion of Republican representatives, are going to be opposed to anything that I do and I have not oftentimes based that on a judgment on the merits, but have based that on their politics."

He continues: "When this agreement is implemented and we've seen centrifuges coming out of facilities like Fordow and Natanz, and we've got inspectors on the ground and it becomes clear that Iran in fact is abiding by this agreement, then attitudes will change, because people will recognize that, in fact, whatever parade of horribles was presented in opposition have not come true."

Asked whether he believes that something about the rules of the American political system ought to change, Obama says: "I think that there are real problems with how we are electing our representatives. I think political gerrymandering has resulted in a situation in which — with 80% Democratic districts or 80% Republican districts and no competition, that that leads to more and more polarization in Congress, and it gets harder and harder to get things done."

On whether it may have been politically harder to address race issues during his first term, President Obama says: "Well, yeah, see, that I don't buy. I — I — I think it's fair to say that if, in my first term, Ferguson had flared up, as president of the United States, I would have been commenting on what was happening in Ferguson. So here's one thing I will say — is that I feel a great urgency to get as much done as possible, and there's no doubt that, after over six and a half years on this job, I probably have an easier time juggling a lot of different issues, and it may be that my passions show a little bit more, just because I've been around this track, now, for a while."

All excerpts from the interview must be credited to "NPR News." Broadcast outlets may use up to sixty (60) consecutive seconds of audio from the interview and must include include on-screen chyron to "NPR News" with NPR Logo.

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