President Obama promises active final year, defends ISIS strategy

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WASHINGTON—Closing out a tumultuous year, President Barack Obama sought to lay the groundwork Friday for his last year in office by vowing not to fade into the background, instead pledging to use his remaining months to push longstanding priorities to fruition.

"In 2016, I'm going to leave it all out on the field," Obama said.

In his annual year-end news conference, Obama portrayed 2015 as one of significant progress for his agenda, pointing to diplomacy with Iran and Cuba and an Asia-Pacific trade agreement as big wins for his administration. He touted a Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage and a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind act as further victories for the causes he's made central to his presidency.

Still, he said, he plans to do much more in 2016.

"We have shown what is possible when America leads," the president said.