President Obama is aggressively campaigning against Donald Trump, likening the presidential race to a Clinton-Obama vs. Trump race, NBC News reports.
“Obama has inserted himself more directly into the campaign than previous second-term presidents,” writes NBC News. “…He is effectively turning the election into ‘Obama-Clinton v. Trump,’ instead of a traditional contest between the two people with their names on the ballot.”
Obama’s efforts to keep Trump out of the Oval Office are historically unprecedented among second-term presidents. Normally, they only get heavily involved in supporting a candidate after party nominating conventions.
But since January, Obama has heavily criticized Trump’s ideas, and he has also implored the mainstream media to cover Trump in a negative light, according to NBC News.
Indeed, on a daily basis, the lead story on Google News is a negative story about Trump.
Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Princeton University, called Obama’s involvement in the presidential race the “biggest intervention” he can recall.
“Not only is he really coming out for the Democratic candidate, but acting in extremely aggressive fashion against the Republican nominee,” Zelizer told NBC News.
The media blitz is just one attempt to heavily influence public opinion. So, is it working?
That margin narrowed from 14.3 points to 10.7 points after the Orlando shooting, according to Reuters.
Following the shooting, Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, emphasized his plans to ban Muslim immigration. Specifically, Trump said in a speech that he would “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies.”
Obama has also clearly shown his support for not only Muslim immigration, but for Islam.
“Islam has always been part of America,” Obama said during a February visit to a mosque in Baltimore.
In 2009, Obama and Clinton toured the Sultan Hassan Mosque in Cairo, Egypt.
“I think there is good reason to believe he has ample authority to exclude, for at least some period of time, anyone he wants,” said Muzaffar Chishti, a lawyer and director of the Migration Policy Institute’s office at the New York University law school, told the Detroit Free Press. “There is an operational aspect to this that makes it absolutely clear that the president has the authority to do what Mr. Trump suggests.”
But some of the fallout from the practice could include political backlash and pressure from allies. It would also be a logistical problem, since immigrants are not required to identify their religious preference.
Obama attacked Trump’s stance on immigration after the Orlando shooting.
“We’re starting to see where this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we’re fighting, where this can lead us,” Obama said. “We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating to America. We hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests that entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer — they were all U.S. citizens.”
In an email response to media, Trump stated that Obama “claims to know our enemy, and yet he continues to prioritize our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people.”
[Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images]