President Obama said "politics did shift midsummer" because of the ongoing border crisis, forcing him to delay any executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections.
"The truth of the matter is-- is that the politics did shift midsummer because" of the "surge in kids who were showing up at the border, got a lot of attention," Obama said in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press, which is set to air Sunday.
Obama's comments come after the White House announced that the president decided against taking action "soon" on immigration, citing the "political season" and "Republican's extreme politicization of the issue."
"I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy," Obama said in the interview.
When pressed on the politics behind his move, Obama said it wasn't because he wants Democrats to maintain control of the Senate.
"That's not the reason," Obama said.
He stressed that the move to postpone action is to make sure that once he does "it's sustainable.
"It's going to be more sustainable and more effective if the public understands what the facts are on immigration, what we've done on unaccompanied children, and why it's necessary," he said.
Reiterating his reasoning, Obama said that while Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, has "laid the groundwork" with "preliminary ideas" for action, but he wants to make sure "we get this right."