ABC News' Ann Compton ( @AnnCompton ) reports:
LAS VEGAS - President Obama refused to pick favorites in the Republican field or wade deeper into the heated primary-season rhetoric, declaring, "Until the Republicans have a nominee, we don't have a campaign."
In an interview with Spanish language network Univision, recorded in Arizona one day after his Tuesday State of the Union address, the president was challenged to defend his own campaign-style speeches as he travels the country. He denied that he is campaigning.
"My general instinct is to focus on doing my job because my attitude is, if I'm doing my job well, people will recognize it, and the politics will follow," he said. "Some people may interpret that as campaigning. I consider that to be important to my leadership in governing this country."
The president is on a three-day swing through five states that might well be battlegrounds for the fall general election. "What I'm trying to do is persuade as many members of Congress as possible, as well as the American people, that we're making progress" on economic recovery.
When the Univision host asked why he has failed to pass immigration reform, the president blamed his adversaries. "We couldn't get any Republican votes. Zero. None."
But he pledged not to give up: "We're just going to keep on pushing and pushing until hopefully we finally get a break."