Condoleezza Rice says Trump connected with people who felt 'diminished by elites'

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said former President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE was successful as a politician in part because of his ability to connect with Americans who felt left behind. 

"What really struck me, and maybe it’s because I’m a political scientist, is that the conditions that produced a populist leader, who had never been in government before, was something I think a lot of us had not paid much attention to, frankly," Rice said this week on an episode of "The Carlos Watson Show."

"He touched the nerve of people who felt left out by globalization, who felt diminished by elites," she added. "That just assumed that the conversation was the conversation they were having, not the conversation that people who’d been left behind we're having." 


Trump reached out to voters, Rice said, by telling them “you contribute too, and they’ve forgotten you. They look down on you.”  

"That’s something that we probably still really need to pay attention to," she added. "As a political scientist, I guess I was more interested in what produced this in our society." 

Rice, a Republican who served in the George W. Bush administration, has been critical of Trump in the past. Last summer, she said Trump should try to understand the plight of all Americans following the murder of George Floyd. 

Trump was critical of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country following Floyd's death at the hands of police. 

“I would ask the president to first and foremost speak in the language of unity, the language of empathy. Not everyone is going to agree with any president, with this president, but you have to speak to every American, not just to those who might agree with you,” Rice said at the time. "When the president speaks, it needs to be from a place of thoughtfulness, from a place of having really honed the message so that it reaches all Americans.”

Trump has repeatedly teased the idea of another presidential bid since leaving office in January.

“I'm absolutely enthused. I look forward to doing an announcement at the right time,” Trump, who maintains widespread report in the GOP, said earlier this month. “As you know, it's very early. But I think people are going to be very, very happy when I make a certain announcement.”