During a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, President Obama questioned the conventional wisdom that Donald Trump is a populist.
“Now, somebody else who has never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues, or making sure that poor kids are getting a decent shot at life or have health care. In fact, have worked against economic opportunity for workers and ordinary people. They don’t suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes. That’s not the measure of populism. That’s nativism. Or xenophobia. Or worse. Just cynicism.”
Obama also warned everyone “to be careful about suddenly attributing to whoever pops up at a time of economic anxiety the label that they’re populist.”
The current president is simply acknowledging the reality that the presumptive GOP nominee is not some populist fighting for the common man. Instead, Trump is a guy who stumbled upon the Republican nomination by running a campaign free of substance and high on bigotry.
Obama is once again showing just how effective he will be against Trump in the general election campaign. Since Clinton secured the Democratic nomination and Obama offered his endorsement, his criticisms of Trump have become harsher and more frequent.
Clinton and Obama will appear together at their first joint campaign event next week in Charlotte, North Carolina – a state the Democrats hope to pull back into their column in 2016.