President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he'll be re-elected for a second term if voters feel like he's been on their side, working as hard as he can and getting things done.
"If they don't," the president said, "then I'll lose."
The blunt political assessment from Obama cast next year's presidential contest as a referendum on his leadership rather than a choice between him and whoever his GOP opponent will be.
"That's not to say that the other candidate is irrelevant," Obama said, "but it does mean that I'm probably going to win or lose depending on their assessment of my stewardship."
The president made his comments in an interview with KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo. He was responding to a question about who in the Republican field could beat him, but Obama declined to speculate, saying he was too occupied to be spending a lot of time worrying about the GOP hopefuls.
The president said that when voters go to the polls, "what they're going to be asking themselves is who's got a better vision for moving the country forward."
"They don't expect everything to be solved overnight," Obama said. "They do expect that their president's going to be thinking about them every single day and going to be focused on how do we win the future."
"And if next November they feel like I've been on their side and I've been working as hard as I can and have been getting some things done to move us in the right direction, I'll win. If they don't, then I'll lose."