Obama used a lengthy podcast interview with two of his former aides, John Favreau and Tommy Vitor, to reflect on his presidency, promote Biden’s nomination and offer some advice to progressives in his party. But the most visible comments in Obama’s 45-minute interview entitled “Pod Save America” on Wednesday were directed at Trump.
“It’s not as if Trump has been internationally active. I mean, the truth is that he doesn’t have the patience and focus on dramatically changing much of the foreign policy of the United States,” Obama said, adding that the president has “systematically tried to destroy the infrastructure.” Our entire foreign policy. “
Obama argued that this was something Biden would face early in his presidency, if elected in November, saying his former deputy “respects and understands what the American leadership can do.”
Obama also said he witnessed Biden’s growth in foreign policy, noting that while the former Delaware senator voted in 2002 to mandate military force in Iraq, a vote that became a hotspot during the 2008 presidential primary, Biden had “learned a lesson” from that.
Obama said: “Perhaps the most conservative with regard to the use of military force among my top advisers during my presidency.” “He consistently believed that we must show restraint, humility, and thinking through the use of military force and he had great confidence and belief in using diplomacy as a strategy to show American leadership.
Obama mocked Trump’s tweets that he should be indicted, and directed his contempt at Republican lawmakers who largely ignored the comments.
Obama laughed jokingly: “His fellow Republicans tend to pretend not to happen.”
“They are kind of evasive to reporters when asked about it,” he said. “The allegations are so ludicrous that even the Republican-controlled committees that look into them dismiss them.”
Obama went on to say that Trump’s focus on such plots highlights “all of the disinformation … and the conservative media infrastructure.”
Obama said, “This is a problem that will withstand Trump. Trump is a symptom of it and a haste for it. But he did not create it,” arguing with the fact that the fringe conspiracy theory QAnon “is leaking into the mainstream.” The Republican Party should show “that there are no more barriers. Within this media ecosystem.
Obama said it was the media ecosystem that helped create Trump, noting that the former reality TV star had said some complementary things about him during the early years of Trump’s presidency before he realized from Fox News and other media that conservatives were turning against her. . That, Obama said, prompted Trump to advance the Berthers conspiracy theory – the idea that the former president was not born in the United States.
Obama concluded the interview with some unwanted advice to progressives in his party, saying that while he believes progressives should continue to push the party, they must also recognize that incremental change is better than no change.
“There is nothing wrong with making a noise about that. There is nothing wrong with holding people accountable,” he said. “I think the caveat I always bear towards progressives is to make sure that when you push for the most that you can get, you say at a certain point: ‘Okay. You know? Let’s get this done and then let’s go ahead and fight another day. “
Obama compared this to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s push to pass Social Security, noting that the law was a “bridgehead” but far from perfect.
“Roosevelt should not have passed Social Security,” Obama asked, because he was not perfect. “Of course not. He finished it and then you fight the next battle.”
Then the former president scrutinized the name of two of the most prominent figures in progressive politics, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Obama said, “Maybe this is where I sometimes disagree with Bernie, and even Elizabeth, in part, about how we talk about these things publicly.” “Most of the times when I was going to do my lead time when I was president, it wasn’t because I was receiving donations from a company or a special interest … it was because I didn’t, I didn’t have votes.”
“When I look back at my presidency, the real circumstance, the maximum of what I can do, is the number of votes I have in the House of Representatives, and the number of votes I have in the Senate,” he added.