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Obama: GOP nominee "doesn't matter"

President Obama, pt. 1
Steve Kroft questions the president on a wide range of critical topics, including his performance in office, the U.S. economy and unemployment, and the budget woes in Washington. CBS

The delegates for the Republican presidential nomination will start being distributed at the Iowa caucuses in just a few weeks, but President Obama says he's not concerned with who he'll have to face next November.

"It doesn't really matter who the nominee is gonna be," the president said on CBS' "60 Minutes," in an interview that aired Sunday evening. "The core philosophy that they're expressing is the same. And the contrast in visions between where I want to take the country and what-- where they say they want to take the country is gonna be stark."

He added that "the American people are gonna have a good choice and it's gonna be a good debate."

Mr. Obama gave a general assessment of the two frontrunners, calling former House Speaker Newt Gingrich "somebody who's been around a long time, and is good on TV, is good in debates."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, meanwhile, "has shown himself to be somebody who's good at politics, as well," the president said. "He's had a lot of practice at it."

While there is no GOP nominee yet, Mr. Obama doesn't believe he's being judged by his own performance, he told "60 Minutes" host Steve Kroft.

"I'm being judged against the ideal," he said. "And, you know, Joe Biden has a good expression. He says, 'Don't judge me against the Almighty, judge me against the alternative.'"

The president made the case for his re-election, arguing that voters will side with him when comparing his vision for American to the GOP vision.

Republicans have been quick to note that Mr. Obama hasn't always cast the election as a decision between two candidates but rather a referendum on his own performance.

"If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition," he said in 2009.

President Obama: The economy, the Congress, the future
Obama makes the case for a second term
Watch the segment: President Obama, pt. 1
Watch the segment: President Obama, pt. 2

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