President Obama: Trump is no populist.
On Wednesday President Obama was in Ottawa, Canada discussing the merits of Trump’s “populist” label. Obama believes that Trump does not deserve the title. And while Obama never mentioned Trump’s name, it was blatantly obvious that he was talking about the Republican presumptive nominee.
“I’m not prepared to concede the notion that some of the rhetoric that’s been popping up is populist.”
Even without using Trump’s name, Obama landed some real blows to the Republican leader. Obama said that Trump has “never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues.” He argued that instead Trump has “worked against economic opportunity for workers and ordinary people.”
“They don’t suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes. That’s not the measure of populism. That’s nativism, or xenophobia, or worse. Or it’s just cynicism.”
Obama argued that, unlike Trump, he really is a true populist. And he explained that his fight for better healthcare and education for the poor and underprivileged, along with his efforts to reform Wall Street, prove that point.
“I care about people and I want make sure every kid in America has the same opportunities that I had.”
He said that if you want to use the title “populist” then you should use it for people like Bernie Sanders who “genuinely deserve the title.”
“Let’s just be clear, somebody who labels ‘us versus them’ or engaged in rhetoric about how we’re going to look after ourselves and take it to the other guy, that’s not the definition of populism. Sorry.”