'I Made a Commitment to Change the Trajectory Of American Foreign Policy'

President Obama spoke to TIME's Fareed Zakaria in the Oval Office on Jan. 18. Excerpts:

When we talked when you were campaigning for the presidency, I asked you which Administration's foreign policy you admired. And you said that you looked at George H.W. Bush's diplomacy. Now that you are President, how has your thinking evolved?

It is true that I've been complimentary of George H.W. Bush's foreign policy, and I continue to believe that he managed a very difficult period very effectively. Now that I've been in office for three years, I think that--I'm always cautious about comparing what we've done to what others have done, just because each period is unique, each set of challenges...

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