President Obama said in an interview airing Monday he was "probably not" the most liberal American president, arguing that "in a lot of ways," even Richard Nixon was farther to the left.
"The truth of the matter is, when you look at some of my policies, in a lot of ways Richard Nixon was more liberal than I was," Obama told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly. "Started the EPA, you know, started a whole lot of the regulatory state that has made our air and water clean."
"FDR, Johnson — but I tend not to think of these things as liberal and conservative, because at any given time, the question is what does the nation need right now," Obama responded.
The president also said he "absolutely" thought he had been treated unfairly on Fox News.
He pointed to O'Reilly's questions during a live Super Bowl pre-game interview about the botched ObamaCare rollout, alleged corruption at the Internal Revenue Service and the terror attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, as evidence of the network's bias. But the president emphasized he wasn't concerned by the channel's treatment.
"This is OK," Obama said. "If you want to be president of the United States, you know you're going to be subjected to criticism."
He also joked that "regardless of whether it's fair or not, it has made Fox News very successful."
"What are you going to do when I'm gone?" Obama joked.