Krugman: Obama One Of The Most "Consequential Presidents" In Modern History

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tags: LBJ, FDR, Obama, Reagan, Krugman

HNN Editor:  This interview was conducted in the wake of Paul Krugman's controversial defense of President Obama in Rolling Stone.

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: You're offering the most full-throated defense of Obama from basically anybody who is not on the Obama payroll right now.

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: Right. And it's funny, because I was critical. But that's the point, in a way. People who had this idea that Obama was going to bring a transformation of America I thought were being naive, but my god we got health reform, we got a significant financial reform. We are getting the environmental action is not everything you would have wanted, but it's more than anyone else has done for decades.

KARL: So put it in context, what are you saying? He's one of the most successful -- FDR, are you putting him in that category?

KRUGMAN: No, FDR is in a different league, right.

KARL: OK, so where are you putting him?

KRUGMAN: In the end, Reagan did not leave the structure of American society particularly different. He did not, in fact, change the basic legacy of Lyndon Johnson and FDR. I think if my ranking of consequential presidents, at least in modern history, would probably be FDR, LBJ, Obama and then Reagan....

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