Barack Obama joked that Republican politicians were sceptical of working with him because they felt their supporters saw him as "the Antichrist". The president offered some of his trademark humour in an August interview with New York Magazine published on 3 October in which he talks about some of the issues he has had to face during his two terms in office.
Referring to the longstanding unwillingness of Congress to work with him on certain important legislation, Obama said, "They're imagining the potential problems that arise, so it's pretty hard for them to publicly say, 'Obama's a perfectly reasonable guy, but we just can't work with him because our base thinks he's the Antichrist.'"
He opined that many people probably have the idea that he is a far-left partisan. "The notion that somehow I show up here and I become Saul Alinsky or Lenin in meetings with Republicans probably doesn't ring true."
In the wide-ranging interview, the Potus goes on to talk about the divide in both the House and Senate that has prevented good work from being done. He opined that the mood within the Republican Party made it unsafe for anyone to support his policies. He described it as being: "No, we shouldn't cooperate with Obama, we shouldn't cooperate with Democrats; that it represents compromise, weakness, and that the broader character of America is at stake, regardless of whatever policy arguments might be made."
Obama believes that while the outcome of the November elections will play a big part in the changes to the party, "it's also going to depend on the degree of self-reflection inside the Republican Party".
"There have been at least a couple of other times that I've said confidently that the fever is going to have to break, but it just seems to get worse," he added.