Often criticized for his use of executive power in the United States, President Barack Obama told an Argentina audience that dealing with Congress can slow the pace of change and is frustrating — but is also something he supports.
“One of the great advantages of the United States system, even though it’s very frustrating sometimes for the president, is that power is distributed across a lot of different institutions. It’s what we call separation of powers and decentralization,” Obama said during a town hall meeting in Buenos Ares.
“So, it’s not just that the president and Congress are separate centers of power,” Obama said. “It’s also true that you have state governments that are powerful, the private sector is powerful. This makes it hard sometimes for America to change as rapidly as we need to respond to changing circumstances or problems because it’s sort of like herding cats. You are trying to get everything working together and moving in the same direction at the same time.”
However, Obama insisted he is glad the U.S. has a separation of powers. “The advantage is, even if we end up with somebody I might not consider a great president, there is a limit to some of the damage they can do,” Obama said. “I’m sure Republicans feel that way about me. They are glad there is a distribution of power. They imagine I would have turned the United States into Cuba, I suppose. They tend to exaggerate a little bit about how I see the world.”