Obama: I see 'straight line' from Palin to Trump
© Getty Images

President Obama in a new interview draws a connection between former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and the current GOP presidential nominee, Donald TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Senate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 'Teflon Don' avoids the scorn of the 'family values' GOP — again MORE.


"I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee to what we see today in Donald Trump, the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the tea party, and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican Party," Obama told New York Magazine.

The president said the outcome of the 2016 elections will partly determine the future of the GOP.

"But it’s also going to depend on the degree of self-reflection inside the Republican Party," Obama said. 

"There have been at least a couple of other times that I’ve said confidently that the fever is going to have to break, but it just seems to get worse." 

It's also important for Democrats to know that whether they will be able to "achieve certain policy objectives is going to be primarily dependent on how many votes we've got in each chamber and our ability to move public opinion," Obama said. 

"And it is not, these days, going to be as dependent on classic deal-making between Democrats and Republicans, or that we won’t move enough to the center on fiscal policy or my — not just me, but subsequent presidents — playing enough golf or drinking enough Scotch with members," Obama said. 

The president said he had "cordial" relationships with many Republicans. 

"We can have really great conversations and arrive at a meeting of the minds on a range of policy issues," Obama said.

"But if they think they’re going to lose seats or that they’re going to lose their own seat because the social media has declared that they sold out the Republican Party, then they won’t do it."

He added that it's clear Republicans have had to "pay a price" for the "narrowing of their perspective in presidential elections."

"But for the individual member of Congress in a 60 percent Republican district in Oklahoma or Arkansas or anyplace in the country, that doesn’t matter," Obama said.

"What matters is that all his constituencies or her constituencies are watching Fox News and listening to Rush [Limbaugh], and they’re going to pay a price if they’re seen as being too cozy with a Democratic president."