Obama to NPR: Politics didn't hold me back on race issues

11 years of President Obama discussing race
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11 years of President Obama discussing race 03:10

Washington (CNN)President Barack Obama insisted Sunday that political considerations did not keep him from addressing race issues in his first term as president.

"That I don't buy," Obama said Sunday in an interview with NPR. "I think it's fair to say that if, in my first term, Ferguson had flared up, as president of the United States, I would have been commenting on what was happening in Ferguson."
Obama said instead that he feels "a great urgency" to get as much done as he can to address race issues in America and is more adept to tackle those issues now than he was earlier in his tenure.
"Here's one thing I will say is that I feel a great urgency to get as much done as possible. And there's no doubt that after over 6 1/2 years on this job, I probably have an easier time juggling a lot of different issues," Obama said.
    Obama has also shown himself increasingly willing to speak off the cuff and passionately about issues he deeply cares about in the final years of his presidency.
    "It may be that my passions show a little bit more, just because I have been around this track now for a while," Obama said.