If, in an alternate universe, it was Barack Obama running against Donald Trump, would the first African-American President have defeated the President-elect?
This question has been a fun “what if” scenario raised by some pundits, especially after the loss of the Democratic presidential bet Hillary Clinton. And it was fun, with no clear winner. But the President raised the topic himself in an interview with his former adviser, David Axelrod.
Obama said that the gains in his administration for the past eight years would have resonated with Americans, and thwarted a Trump victory.
‘I could have beaten Barack Obama’, Donald Trump slaps down president and lays into UN https://t.co/ZD8bXkcmu8 pic.twitter.com/IonQBlJUO1
— Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) December 26, 2016
“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it”
“We see it in this younger generation that is smarter, more tolerant, more innovative, more creative, more entrepreneurial, would not even think about, you know, discriminating against somebody for example because of their sexual orientation.”
Barack Obama said that he could have tapped into the American spirit which “manifests itself in communities all across the country,” and that would have been enough to beat Trump.
The President also said that Clinton’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a censure of his administration or the party.
“The culture actually did shift,” he said. “That the majority does buy into the notion of one America that is tolerant and diverse and open and full of energy and dynamism.”
Obama also didn’t hold his punches when he assessed how Trump defeated Clinton. He suggested that the former first lady “played it too safe.” Although he said that Clinton’s relationship with the press leaves much to be desired, citing the seemingly “double standard” with which the media reported on her.
“For whatever reason, there’s been a longstanding difficulty in her relationship with the press that meant her flaws were wildly amplified,” he said.
But he quickly added that part of the blame could also be because she failed to relay the message about how she can improve on the gains of the current administration.
“I think she looked and said, well, given my opponent and the things he’s saying and what he’s doing, we should focus on that,” he explained.
— BraveHeart (@Braveheart_USA) December 28, 2016
This wasn’t the first time that President Obama blamed Clinton for her surprising loss to Trump.
Last month, he said her failure to pay attention to the other places outside of the key cities during the presidential campaign obviously backfired.
The President made some parallelisms between Clinton’s campaign and his own when he did not ignore the small communities in order to sell his vision.
“You know, I won Iowa not because the demographics dictated that I would win Iowa,” he explained. “It was because I spent 87 days going to every small town and fair and fish fry and VFW hall, and there were some counties where I might have lost, but maybe I lost by 20 points instead of 50 points.”
However, Trump had only this to say about Obama claiming that he could have won: “NO WAY.”
In a Twitter message, after hearing the President’s statements, the former reality TV show host wrote, “President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! – jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.”
President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! – jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
During the campaign period, Donald Trump described Barack Obama’s administration as a “disaster.” The President-elect also called the POTUS “weak” and “inefficient,” saying that Obama was the worst president in the history of the country.
[Featured Image by Chip Somdevilla/Getty Images]