Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCutting through the noise of COVID risk: Real-life consequences of oversimplification Russia-Ukraine conflict threatens U.S. prestige Appeasement doesn't work as American foreign policy MORE on Wednesday said that he believes President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE was successful in garnering support from more than 73 million Americans this election cycle because some members of the Republican Party have promoted a narrative that “white males are victims.”
During an interview with the radio show “The Breakfast Club,” Obama said that while the existing government “has failed miserably in handling just basic looking after the American people and keeping them safe,” millions of people still voted to re-elect Trump because they believed they were “under attack” by Democrats.
“It turns out politics is not just about policy, it’s not just about numbers, it’s about the stories that are being told,” said Obama, who appeared on the show to promote his new book, “A Promised Land.”
“And the story that they’re hearing from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and, in some cases, inside their churches, is that Democrats don’t believe in Christmas, only care about minorities and Black folks and are trying to take your stuff and trying to take your guns away,” he continued.
“What’s always interesting to me is the degree to which you’ve seen created in Republican politics the sense that white males are victims,” Obama said. “They are the ones who are under attack – which obviously doesn’t jive with both history and data and economics. But that’s a sincere belief that’s been internalized, that’s a story that’s being told and how you unwind that is going to be not something that is done right away, it’s going to take some time.”
Later on in the show Wednesday, co-host DJ Envy asked Obama to respond to some criticism from Black people that the former president could have done more for people of color while in office.
“I understand it because when I was elected there was so much excitement and hope, and I also think we generally view the presidency as almost like a monarchy in the sense of once the president’s there, he can just do whatever needs to get done and if he’s not doing it, it must be because he didn’t want to do it,” Obama responded.
Envy then argued that Trump has behaved that way, to which Obama responded, “because he breaks laws or disregards the constitution.”
“The good news for me was I was very confident in what I had done for Black folks because I have the statistics to prove it,” the former president added.
Trump’s predecessor has become one of his most vocal critics in recent months, with the two-term president saying during an interview on "The Late Show with Stephen ColbertStephen Tyrone ColbertKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Amid multiple crises, Biden runs to NBC's safe space with Jimmy Fallon Biden to appear on 'The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon' on Friday MORE” on Tuesday that Trump could have taken more immediate and coordinated action in his response to the pandemic and that handling the virus is “not rocket science.”
Trump has repeatedly downplayed the threat of the pandemic and has been absent from meetings of the White House coronavirus task force in recent months, according to members of his administration. He and his allies have also called on Americans to resist new guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the winter.
It was first reported in March that the Obama administration walked the incoming administration through a hypothetical scenario in which a pandemic worse than the 1918 Spanish flu shut down cities like Seoul and London in early 2017.