"Well, I think Ben Bernanke's done an outstanding job," Obama said during a PBS interview that aired Monday. "Ben Bernanke's a little bit like Bob Mueller, the head of the FBI, where he's already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed to."
Bernanke has been Fed chairman since 2006 and is expected to step down when his term ends in January, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
"I don't think I'm the only person in the world who can manage the exit," Bernanke said recently in reference to the quantitative easing program.
But Bernanke hasn't stated his intentions and Obama didn't answer directly in the PBS interview what he would do if Bernanke expressed interest in a third term, the Times said.
"He has been an outstanding partner, along with the White House, in helping us recover much stronger than, for example, our European partners, from what could have been an economic crisis of epic proportions," Obama said.
The front-runner to succeed Bernanke is his deputy, Janet Yellen, one of the architects of the Fed's strategy to purchase assets, the Times said. Other possible candidates include former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and former Fed vice-chairs Roger Ferguson and Donald Kohn.
The Fed is to begin a two-day meeting Tuesday. Among matters expected to be discussed is the timing in the reduction of its asset purchase program.