Obama used a lengthy podcast interview with two former aides, John Favreau and Tommy Vieter, to reflect on his own presidency, nominate Biden and offer some advice to progressives in his own party. But the strongest comments in Obama’s 45-minute interview “Save America” on Wednesday were directed at Trump.
“It’s not as if Trump has been so active internationally. I mean, the truth is, he doesn’t have the patience and focus to really change much of US foreign policy,” Obama said, adding that the president has “systematically was trying to destroy our entire foreign policy infrastructure. “
Obama says this is something Biden will oppose early in his presidency if elected in November, saying his former vice president “has respect and understanding of what the US leadership can do.”
Obama also said he had seen a rise in Biden’s foreign policy, noting that while the former Delaware senator voted in 2002 to allow military force in Iraq, a vote that turned into flames during the presidential election in 2008, Biden had “learned a lesson” from this.
“He was probably the man who was most restrained about using military force among my senior advisers during 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 confidence and faith in using diplomacy as a strategy to show American leadership.”
Obama shed light on Trump’s tweets that he should be blamed, directing his contempt at Republicans, who largely ignore those comments.
“Republican colleagues tend to just pretend that’s not happening,” Obama laughed, joking about how Republicans often say they “haven’t tweeted.”
“Somehow they avoid reporters when asked about it,” he said. “The allegations are so absurd that even the Republican-controlled committees that are considering them have rejected them.”
Obama went on to say that Trump’s focus on such conspiracies underscores “all the misinformation … and the conservative media infrastructure.”
“This is a problem that will outlive Trump. Trump is his symptom and accelerator. But he did not create it,” Obama said, arguing that the conspiracy theory of the QAnon conspiracy “penetrates the mass flow of the Republican Party.” show “that there are no more guardrails in this media ecosystem.”
It was this media ecosystem, Obama said, that helped create Trump, noting that the former reality TV star said some extra things about him during the first years of Trump’s presidency before learning from Fox News and other media that conservatives were turning. to her. That, Obama said, prompted Trump to push through a conspiracy theory that could give birth to the idea that the former president was not born in the United States.
Obama concluded the interview with some unwanted advice about his party’s progressives, saying that while he believes progressives must continue to push for the party, they must also realize that gradual change is better than no change.
“There’s nothing wrong with making noise. And there’s nothing wrong with holding people accountable,” he said. “I think the caution I always have for the progressives is to make sure that as you strive for the best you can get, at some point you will say, ‘Okay.’ You know what? Let’s do this, and then let’s keep fighting for another day. ‘”
Obama likened this to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s insistence on social security, noting that the law is a “beach strip” but far from perfect.
“Should the FDR not have passed Social Security because it wasn’t perfect,” Obama asked. “Of course not. He does it and then you fight the next battle.”
The former president then checked the names of two of the most notable people in progressive politics, Sensor Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“Maybe here I sometimes differ from Bernie and even partly from Elizabeth in the way we talk about these things in public,” Obama said. “Most of the time, when I did something progressive while I was president, it wasn’t because I was receiving donations from some special interest or corporation. … It was because I didn’t do it, I don’t have votes. “
He added: “When I looked back at my presidency, the real package, the limit on what I could do, was how many votes I had in the House, how many votes I had in the Senate.”