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Obama Wants to Develop New Generation of Leaders

Obama said Republicans have been systematic in building from the ground up while Democrats have had a bias toward national and international issues

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    In this Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. Obama told NPR that the issues he cares most about will be well served when that new generation moves into positions of authority.

    President Barack Obama says one of his missions after leaving office will be to develop a new generation of leaders on issues such as climate change, criminal justice reform and expanding health insurance coverage. 

    In a wide-ranging interview with NPR, Obama said he wants to ensure that young people working on those issues have "whatever resources, credibility, spotlight that I can bring to help them rise up." 

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    Obama said in the interview airing Monday that the issues he cares most about will be well served when that new generation moves into positions of authority. 

    The Democratic Party has been hit hard during his presidency. He'll leave with the GOP controlling the White House and Congress. 

    Obama said Republicans have been systematic in building from the ground up while Democrats have had a bias toward national and international issues. 

    "As a consequence I think we've ceded too much territory," Obama said. 

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    Obama said he leaves office with some ideas about how to build up the party, but he says he'll serve more as an adviser, coach and friend. 

    "I'm less likely to get involved in all the nuts and bolts of electioneering," Obama said.