Obama used a lengthy podcast interview with two former aides, Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, to reflect on his presidency, announcing Biden ‘s candidacy and offering some advice to progressives in his party. But the sharpest comments in Obama’s 45-minute interview “Pod Save America” on Wednesday were addressed to Trump.
“It’s not like Trump has been so active internationally. I mean, the truth is he lacks the patience and focus to really change a lot of U.S. foreign policy,” Obama said, adding that the President has “in “systematically tried to define our entire foreign policy infrastructure.”
That, Obama argued, is something Biden would oppose early in his presidency if he were elected in November, saying his former vice president “has a respect and understanding of what the American leadership can do.” “.
Obama also said he has seen an increase from Biden in foreign policy, noting that while the former Delaware senator voted in 2002 to authorize military force in Iraq, a vote that became a hot spot during the presidential election. in 2008, Biden “had learned a lesson” from her.
“He was probably the person who was most restrained in terms of the use of military force among my top advisers during the course of my presidency,” Obama said. “He consistently believed that we should show restraint and humility and think through the use of military power, and he had great faith and confidence in the use of diplomacy as a strategy to show American leadership.”
Obama shed light on Trump tweets by suggesting he should be indicted, mocking Republican lawmakers who largely ignore these comments.
“Republican comrades tend to just claim it doesn’t happen,” Obama laughed, joking about the way Republicans often say they “did not read the tweet.”
“They avoid reporters when asked about it,” he said. “The allegations are so absurd that even Republican-controlled committees have dismissed them.”
Obama went on to say that Trump’s focus on such conspiracies highlights “all the misinformation … and conservative media infrastructure.”
“This is a problem that Trump will overcome. Trump is a symptom of him and an accelerator of him. But he did not create it,” Obama said, arguing that the QAnon conspiracy theory is “penetrating the mainstream.” of the Republican Party “must show” that there are no more defenses within this media ecosystem. ”
It was that media ecosystem, said Obama, that helped create Trump, noting that the former reality TV star had said a few things about him during the first years of Trump’s presidency before learning from Fox News and other media than the Conservatives were turning to her. That, Obama said, led Trump to push the birth conspiracy theory, the idea that the former President was not born in the United States.
Obama ended the interview with some unsolicited advice for progressives in his party, saying that while he believes progressives should continue to push the party, they should also understand that growing change is better than no change.
“There is nothing wrong with making noise about it. And there is nothing wrong with holding people accountable,” he said. “I think the concern I always have for progressives is to make sure that, as you strive for more that you can get, that at some point you say, ‘OK. You know what? Let’s do this and then let it move to fight another day. ‘”
Obama likened this to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s push to pass Social Security, noting that the law was a “beach shore” but far from perfect.
“Wouldn’t FDR have passed Social Security” because it was not perfect, Obama asked. “Certainly not. He does it over and then you fight into the next battle.”
The former president controlled by name two of the most prominent people in progressive politics, sensors Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“Maybe that’s where sometimes I differ with Bernie, and even Elizabeth, in part, in the way we talk about these things publicly,” Obama said. “Most of the time when I was going to do something progressive done while I was president, it was not because I was receiving donations from any particular interest or corporation. … It was because I did not, I did not ‘t have votes.’ .
He added: “When I look back at my presidency, the real envelope, the limit of what I could do, had to do with how many votes I had in the House, how many votes I had in the Senate.”
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