President Barack Obama has finally given his first public statement about whether he will remain in the White House for the foreseeable future.
Obama made the announcement at a campaign event Thursday afternoon in Wilmington, North Carolina, after a day of interviews with supporters in a rally on his home turf.
The president, who has been dogged by a series of health problems and is set to return to the White Castle, said he had decided that he would stay for the time being, according to a White House pool report.
Obama has said he plans to “go to work” as president in January but has not specified a timetable for that.
He said in the campaign that he planned to return for his inauguration on Jan. 20.
Obama said he has not spoken to his family since the announcement but that he was making an effort to communicate with them as he recovered.
He said he hoped to have a full recovery by the end of February, when he said he would have an opportunity to make some final decisions about whether to stay in the Oval Office.
“I’ve done what I needed to do to get back into the office,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, he told NBC News’ Chuck Todd that he had received “good news” from his doctors.
“I feel great,” he told Todd.
“I feel good physically, physically and mentally.”
The president’s condition has deteriorated in recent days and doctors say he is still not fully recovered from his recent illness.
On Thursday, a spokesman for the president said he was expected to return home to Washington, D.C., after spending two weeks in the hospital.
But Todd pressed him on when he would be able to return, saying, “Are you still planning to come back to the country?”
Obama replied, “I will.”
“Are you ready to go home?”
“Yeah,” Obama replied.
Obama was at a golf course in North Carolina Thursday evening with his wife, Michelle, as he continues his recovery.