WASHINGTON - US President Barack Obama says he considers Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the two top Republican presidential hopefuls, "credible" candidates to challenge him for the White House in 2012.
Obama made the comments in an interview with NBC News to be broadcast on Monday.
In excerpts of the interview released by the network, Obama said he was not worried about his low job approval ratings in opinion polls. He also said he thinks that anti-government elements of the conservative Tea Party movement are a permanent part of American politics.
With US unemployment still above 9 percent some 14 months before the 2012 election, Republicans see Obama, a Democrat, as increasingly vulnerable.