Barack Obama is not a huge fan of Donald Trump and he wasn’t afraid of saying so at his latest rally in Miami, Florida.
It’s uncommon for former presidents to criticise their successors but the 44th POTUS broke from tradition to make several scathing swipes.
From slamming Trump’s “mismanagement” of the coronavirus pandemic to claiming his words embolden “mean”, “cruel”, “divisive” and “racist” actions, Obama didn’t hold back.
So here are the the most brutal takedowns:
1. ‘His TV ratings are down’
Obama took a swipe at Trump’s previous role as The Apprentice host:
[Donald Trump] hasn’t shown any interest in doing the work or helping anybody except himself and his friends or treating the presidency like a reality show to give himself more attention. And as we noted the other day, his TV ratings are down.
2. ‘Tweeting on television doesn’t fix things’
Speaking on Trump’s tweeting habits, Obama said:
Listen, I understand that the president... wants full credit for the economy he inherited and zero blame for the pandemic that he ignored. As a general rule, this is not a person who likes to take responsibility for anything. But the job doesn’t work that way… Tweeting on television doesn’t fix things. Inventing conspiracies doesn't make people’s lives better. You’ve got to have a plan. You’ve got to do the work.
3. ‘He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself’
Obama criticised Trump for not taking “basic steps” to protect himself from coronavirus, like continually refusing to wear a face mask:
Eight months into this pandemic, eight months into this pandemic, new cases are breaking records. Donald Trump isn’t going to suddenly protect all of us.
He can’t even take the basic steps to protect himself. There’s no sense that he’s coming up with a new approach, with a new plan. He doesn’t even acknowledge that there’s a problem.
4. ‘The mismanagement would be comical and ridiculous if it didn’t mean people losing lives’
Maybe we shouldn’t have had the president get on television and say that if you put some bleach in you, that might clean things up. Just maybe that might’ve made a difference. The mismanagement would be comical and ridiculous if it didn’t mean people losing lives, if it didn’t mean the economy not recovering.
5. ‘He fumbled it’
On the economy, Obama slammed Trump’s record on managing his own finances:
Donald Trump likes to claim he built this economy. Some people actually give him credit for it… He did inherit the longest streak of job growth in American history that we got started, but just like everything else he inherited, he fumbled it.
He barely pays income taxes. He had no problem paying a ton of money in taxes to China from his secret Chinese bank account.
Hold up a second. Let me just see a show of hands. How many people here have secret Chinese bank accounts? Who’s got a secret Chinese bank account? His first year in the White House he only paid $750 in federal income tax. You got secretaries, you’ve got construction workers, you’ve got healthcare workers, nurses, who pay a lot more in income taxes than that.
7. ‘A president’s supposed to help it rebuild, not toss paper towels’
But when 60 Minutes and Lesley Stahl are too tough for you, you ain’t all that tough. You got to walk out of a 60 Minutes interview, then you’re never going to stand up to a dictator.
If you’re spending all your time complaining about how mean reporters are to you, you’re not going to stand up to Putin.
9. ‘That’s not normal behaviour’
Obama slammed Trump’s divisive way of insulting “anybody who he doesn’t think is nice to him”:
We’re not going to have a president that goes out of his way to insult anybody who he doesn’t think is nice enough to him. We won’t have a president who threatens people with jail for just criticising him. That’s not normal behaviour, Florida.
You shake your head and you think, “Well, you know what? That’s just him.” But there are consequences to this. There are consequences when a president behaves that way. It emboldens others to be mean and cruel. And divisive and racist.
When you have a president who cannot call out or even criticise white supremacists, that’s a problem. That sends a bad message.
11. Biden and Harris ‘actually care about every American’
Speaking to Trump’s criticism of everyone who’s not a supporter of his, Obama said:
[Joe Biden and Kamala Harris] actually care about every American. Even the ones who aren’t going to be voting for them.