Obama: 'I don't think about Sarah Palin'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) may be one of the most powerful forces within her own party, but President Obama said Tuesday he doesn't give her any thought.  

The president told Barbara Walters in an interview set to air Friday that he hasn't even considered a potential 2012 matchup with Palin. 

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In response to the question of whether he could defeat Palin should she win the GOP nomination in two years, Obama said flatly, "I don't think about Sarah Palin." 

"Obviously Sarah Palin has a strong base of support in the Republican Party and I respect those skills," said Obama. "But I spend most of my time right now on how I can be the best possible president. And my attitude has always been, from the day I started this job, that if I do a good job and if I'm delivering for the American people the politics, will take care of itself." 

It was in an interview with Walters last week that Palin said she could defeat Obama in 2012. 

A new Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this week showed that despite Obama's sagging approval ratings, particularly among independents, he still leads Palin in a hypothetical 2012 general election matchup 48 percent to 40 percent. 

Obama was in a dead heat with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.  

Palin is set to embark on a nationwide book tour with stops in several presidential battlegrounds. She will promote her book in Iowa next week.