Former President Barack Obama attacked President Donald Trump, calling him “Richie Rich” and slamming him for refusing to take responsibility for anything.
“There’s a notion that a man is true to his word, that he takes responsibility, that he doesn’t complain, that he isn’t a bully—in fact he defends the vulnerable against bullies,” Obama told The Atlantic.
“And so even if you are someone who is annoyed by wokeness and political correctness and wants men to be men again and is tired about everyone complaining about the patriarchy, I thought that the model wouldn’t be Richie Rich—the complaining, lying, doesn’t-take-responsibility-for-anything type of figure,” Obama added.
Republicans, militia groups, and people afraid of change have embraced Trump since his 2016 presidential run. The president’s brash personality, disrespect for powerful women of color, and love of conspiracy theories that are easily debunked have been embraced by them.
Even Obama himself was shocked at how fast the Republican Party jumped in bed with Trump and allowed him to seize control and speak for the entire party.
“I did not believe how easily the Republican establishment, people who had been in Washington for a long time and had professed a belief in certain institutional values and norms, would just cave,” he added.
The party’s quick embrace of Trump and his takeover of it has led to the creation of a bevy of anti-Trump GOP organizations including the Lincoln Project, Republican Voters Against Trump, and the Bravery Project, led by Joe Walsh, a former Republican congressman from Illinois.
Obama added the populist movement received a significant boost when he and Joe Biden ran a successful campaign against John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008. Obama credited Palin, the former Alaska governor, as an early trailblazer of Trump’s brash political style
“The power of Palin’s rallies compared with [Arizona Sen. John] McCain’s rallies—just contrast the excitement you would see in the Republican base,” Obama told The Atlantic. “I think this hinted at the degree to which appeals around identity politics, around nativism, conspiracies were gaining traction.”
Trump is still trying to fight a losing battle. As president-elect Biden continues to shape his staff, more than 15 of Trump’s lawsuits have been thrown out. On Wednesday, the Trump campaign paid $3 million for two recounts in heavily Democratic areas of Wisconsin, alleging voter fraud, although Trump hasn’t shown any evidence to prove his claims.