So the president said this during today’s press conference.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “I am not a dictator; I’m the president. So, ultimately if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say we need to go to catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right?”
He said this in the context of complaining that he didn’t have the power to force Republicans to bend to his will on spending.
On at least three previous occasions, Obama has lamented that there are limits on his power.
King: “My cabinet has been working very hard on trying to get it done, but ultimately, I think somebody said the other day, I am president, I am not king,” Obama told Univision in October 2010, when asked why he had yet to achieve comprehensive immigration reform. “I can’t do these things just by myself.” He reiterated that sentiment in a February 2013 interview with Telemundo. “I’m not a king,” he said.
President of China: “Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China,” the New York Times reported in March 2011.
Emperor of the United States: “This is something I’ve struggled with throughout my presidency,” Obama said during a Google hangout event in February. “The problem is that I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.”