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Obama: ‘A Lot’ of People Are Worried About Closing Gitmo, I’m Not Running for Re-Election And Don’t Worry About Politics


President Obama stated that “a lot of the American people” are worried about closing Guantanamo Bay and this is part of the reason some in Congress do, and later said that “the fact that I’m no longer running, Joe is no longer running, we’re not on the ballot, it gives us the capacity to not have to worry about the politics” during a statement on Tuesday.

Obama said, “I want to say, I am very clear-eyed about the hurdles to finally closing Guantanamo. The politics of this are tough. I think a lot of the American public are worried about terrorism, and in their mind, the notion of having terrorists held in the United States, rather than in some distant place, can be scary. But part of my message to the American people here is, we’re already holding a bunch of really dangerous terrorists here in the United States, because we threw the book at them. And there have been no incidents. We’ve managed it just fine.”

He added, after talking about Congressional opposition, which he stated was due partially to the public’s opposition, “[T]his plan deserves a fair hearing, even in an election year. We should be able to have an open, honest, good faith dialogue about how to best ensure our national security. And the fact that I’m no longer running, Joe is no longer running, we’re not on the ballot, it gives us the capacity to not have to worry about the politics. Let us do what is right for America. Let us go ahead and close this chapter, and do it right, do it carefully, do it in a way that makes sure we’re safe.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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