President Obama said Monday that he’s received letters from Donald Trump supporters gloating that America is “great again.”
“There’s been some letters that say, “I am so glad you’re getting out of here. Good riddance. You’ve been a horrible president,’ ” Mr. Obama said in a wide-ranging interview broadcast by NPR.
The president said he usually writes back. Mr. Obama also said he has received letters from young Hispanics and Muslims who are worried about their treatment since the election.
“The letters that worry me most are letters from either teachers or students themselves, where they say, ‘I’m in a majority Latino school, and I’m teaching third-graders, and a child will go up to a teacher and say, ‘Why don’t people like me?’ ” Mr. Obama said. “Or a Muslim college student who starts thinking that there’s no place for her in this country that she loves. Those are the most worrisome and those are ones where I respond and say that you have to have faith in the basic goodness of this country and that it outweighs the bad.”
The president expressed amazement that detractors have accused him of trying to “kill Christmas” with political correctness. He accused conservatives of hypocrisy, saying they decry political correctness from liberals but act offended about issues such as the secularization of the Christmas holiday.
“Look, I had to live through controversies like the notion that I was trying to kill Christmas. Right?” Mr. Obama said. “Well, where’d that come from? Well, you know, ‘He said Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas,’ so that must be evidence of him either not being a Christian or not caring about Christmas. It sounds funny now, but you’ll have entire debates in conservative circles around that.”
The president said he finds it ironic that conservative commentators such as Rush Limbaugh or conservative lawmakers “are very quick to jump on any evidence of progressives being ‘politically correct,’ but who are constantly aggrieved and hypersensitive about the things they care about, and are continually feeding this sense of victimization, and that they are being subject to reverse discrimination.”
The Christmas holiday has been front and center at some of Mr. Trump’s “thank you” rallies in recent days, with large Christmas trees on display in arenas where he has spoken to supporters.