(CNN) - President Barack Obama wants a combination of "intellectual firepower" and a '"common touch" in the next Supreme Court justice, but said he doesn't feel "weighed down" by race or gender in his decision.
With a nomination potentially just days away, Obama was asked in a C-SPAN interview what he would tell his wife, Michelle Obama, his daughters and his mother-in-law if he didn't choose a woman.
"Actually I can't tell you the number of women, including Michelle, who say, 'Choose the person you think is going to be best,'" Obama responded.
He said, "I think in any given pick, my job is to just find somebody who I think is going to make a difference on the courts and look after the interest of the American people. And so, I don't feel weighed down by having to choose a Supreme Court justice based on demographics. I certainly think that ultimately we want a Supreme Court that is reflective of the incredible variety of the American people."
Obama said he thought it was "safe to say" the announcement about the Supreme Court justice, who will replace retiring Justice David Souter, would come soon, although he offered no specific date.