Barack Obama surprised many by admitting that Donald Trump has his finger on the pulse of American voter sentiment when it comes to immigration.
“I think there is genuine anti-immigrant sentiment in the large portion of at least Republican primary voters.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the American president has admitted that Donald Trump, the swaggering businessman and brash right-winger who drew laughs and gasps of disbelief when he first announced that he was interested in running for the presidency, has tapped into something “real” by speaking out against immigration. Trump has previously accused Mexican immigrants of being “rapists” and “drug dealers” and speculated that large numbers of Syrian immigrants may be affiliated with terrorist group ISIS.
Trump has also stated (as reported by The Washington Times) that illegals immigrants are treated “better than veterans” in the United States, suggesting to voters that they would be short-changed by a more progressive administration.
Trump also criticised German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her immigration stance, saying bluntly “I do not like the migration. I do not like the people coming.”
Again demonstrating his commitment to military action, Trump laid the blame on none other than Barack Obama for the Syrian refugee crisis, which he thinks will cause riots in Germany as citizens protest the influx of displaced asylum seekers. Trump asserts that Barack Obama could have prevented, or at least eased, the Syrian refugee crisis by taking military action when it was learnt that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appeared to have used chemical weapons against his own people.
Trump mused that the waves of immigrants are now Merkel’s problem:
“Frankly, look, Europe’s going to have to handle it, but they’re going to have riots in Germany. What’s happening in Germany, I always thought Merkel was, like, this great leader. What she’s done in Germany is insane. It’s insane.”
Trump has promised to tackle immigration in the United States with a decisiveness and aggressiveness that Obama lacks. He says that if he is elected he will build a wall on the US-Mexico border to stop the flood of immigrants that travel illegally into the U.S.A over that point. He also promises to deport not some but all of the illegal immigrants already in the US (that means an estimated 11 million immigrants would be sent back).
Breitbart reports that Alaskan governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential contender Sarah Palin echoed Trump’s sentiments about veterans, saying:
“Give our vets the same freedoms they gave us. And instead of illegal aliens cutting in line and being rewarded with a handout of U.S. benefits, we demand that the vets are first in line.”
It’s not just state firepower Trump is in favor of. Yahoo reports that Republican hopeful Trump admitted on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday that he “sometimes” carries a gun: “I will tell you, I feel much better being armed.”
Trump previously spoke about his concealed-weapon permit at a rally in Tennessee:
“I have a license to carry in New York — can you believe that? Nobody knows that. Somebody attacks me, they’re gonna be shocked.”
For his part, Barack Obama has been accused of exploiting the tragedy in Oregon (and the subsequent mourning for victims) to push his gun control policy, which would include confiscation of private arms. Obama said:
“We know other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws that almost eliminate mass shootings. Friends of ours, allies of ours, Great Britain, Australia, countries like ours. So we know there are ways to prevent it.”
Obama may have admitted that the sentiments Trump taps into are real but the current president still does not think the brash ex-reality star will make it to the White House:
“He is, you know, the classic reality TV character. I’ll leave it up to the pundits to make that determination [about Trump’s success]. I don’t think he’ll end up being president of the United States.”
Asked if he thinks he himself would win a third term, were he not barred constitutionally from running a third time, Obama answered with a terse confidence that was almost Donald Trump-esque: “Yes,” the president said simply.
Will Donald Trump be president? Let us know what you think.
(Photo by Richard Ellis, Isaac Brekken, Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)