German chancellor Angela Merkel hasn’t announced whether she plans to run for re-election. But if she runs, President Barack Obama would support her.
“If I were here and I were German and I had a vote, I might support her,” Obama said. “But I don’t know what that hurts or helps.”
Obama clarified that he tried to keep out of international politics, despite evidence that he has done so repeatedly throughout his presidency.
“All I can say is Chancellor Merkel has been a outstanding partner,” he said, referring to his relationship with her.
He acknowledged ruefully that Merkel was one of the only leaders left who hadn’t been voted out of office since he took a leadership position on the world stage.
“You know, Chancellor Merkel is perhaps the only leader left among our closest allies that was there when I arrived,” he said. “So in some ways we are now the veterans of many challenges over the last eight years.”
Obama praised Merkel’s “integrity” “truthfulness” and “thoughtfulness” as well as her ability to do her homework and know the facts.
“I think she’s been outstanding,” Obama said. “So it’s up to her whether she wants to stand again and then ultimately up to the German people to decide what the future holds.”
Merkel dismissed questions about her intentions, telling reporters that announcement of her decision would be reserved for another occasion.