Obama: I don’t keep a checklist, but I monitored Trump rolling back my work
Former President Obama said that while he didn’t keep a checklist, he did keep track of what Obama-era policies the Trump administration has either rolled back or attempted to dismantle.
Obama spoke to New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait for an interview published Wednesday about his his new memoir “A Promised Land” and his thoughts on the current political climate.
“I don’t have a checklist in my desk where I’m like, ‘All right, this survived, that they tried to reverse but weren’t organized enough to do,'” said Obama. “I do pay attention; I have paid attention to those areas where what the Trump administration attempted to do did some serious damage and where it’s more of a short-term setback on what is a long-term success.”
Chait noted in the interview that President Trump has focused on undoing a number of Obama’s key achievements, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was fully reinstated this week on the orders of a federal judge.
Obama said the ACA “remains robust” but that “when it comes to some of our climate-change regulations, there’s been some damage done.”
The former president expressed optimism, though, pointing out General Motors’s recent decision to pull out of a lawsuit to keep California from maintaining fuel efficiency standards.
Obama indicated he was confident the upcoming administration under President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able “to pick up where we left off.”
Chait brought up recent reports that Biden would be nominating Lily Eskelsen Garcia to be Education secretary. Garcia is the president of the National Education Association and was a vocal critic of education policies set out by the Obama administration, arguing they placed too much importance on standardized tests.
“Here’s what I know. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris also believe that every child should get a good education and that requires changes in how we teach that go beyond just money,” said Obama. “And I won’t prejudge both whom they’ll end up nominating as secretary of Education or the policies that they pursue until I actually see them.”