President Obama reflects, looks ahead in NPR interview

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The president sat down with NPR’s Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep to talk about issues affecting Americans across the country, and to reflect on what he’s accomplished and what to expect in the final two years of his presidency on issues like immigration and the economy.

Responding to the ongoing tension between police departments and black communities across the country following the death of Eric Garner in New York, and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama said that America is less racially divided than it was when he took office.

“It’s understandable the polls might say, you know, that race relations have gotten worse — because when it’s in the news and you see something like Ferguson or the Garner case in New York, then it attracts attention. But I assure you, from the perspective of African-Americans or Latinos in poor communities who have been dealing with this all their lives, they wouldn’t suggest somehow that it’s worse now than it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago,” the president told Inskeep.

He also talked about Cuba, health care, the Middle East and, of course, gridlock in Congress. “And, you know, what I’ve said repeatedly is that I want to work with them; I want to get things done. I don’t have another election to run,” the president said.

The videotaped conversation with the president and will be available throughout the week.

Here’s the full transcript.