In an interview with Chris Matthews on Thursday, his first since 2008, President Obama discussed a wide range of topics, from Edward Snowden to healthcare.gov. However, when asked to “compare and contrast” Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden’s presidential qualities, the president quipped “Not a chance am I going there.” (5:20 below.) Obama said they’d both make “outstanding” presidents, and avoided giving any sign of which one he loves best (though we’re pretty sure it’s Biden). “I think Joe Biden will go down in history as one of the best vice presidents — ever,” Obama said. “And he has been with me, at my side, in every tough decision that I’ve made, from going after Bin Laden to dealing with the health care issues to — you name it, he’s been there.”
Similarly, he called Hillary “one of the finest” secretaries of state ever. “(She) helped to transition us away from a deep hole that we were in when I first came into office, around the world, and to rebuild confidence and trust in the United States,” Obama said.
The president was less restrained when it came to MSNBC. When Matthews lamented that lawmakers just don’t compromise anymore, Obama responded, “First of all, I think, Chris, it’s fair to say I have always been prepared to not only negotiate, but to go ahead and push forward on principled compromises. In fact, sometimes on your station, MSNBC, I’ve been blasted for being too willing to compromise.”
He got in a second jab (at the 8:30 mark) as he proclaimed that Americans are “good and decent.” “Yes we get very divided, in part because our politics and our media…” Obama paused, choosing his words carefully, “specifically tries to divide them and splinter them.” And with that the thrill finally ran down Matthews’ leg.