It seems like Donald Trump has gotten under President Obama’s skin.
Why else would Mr. Obama go on a six-minute rant against the presumptive GOP presidential nominee during a press conference on Wednesday? Mr. Obama tried to explain to the crowd exactly what populism was — and how Mr. Trump doesn’t deliver the goods.
“I’m not prepared to concede the notion that some of the rhetoric that’s been popping up is populist,” Mr. Obama said after hearing many Trump-related questions during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Ottawa.
Mr. Obama then suggested that someone look up the term in a dictionary, then launched into a six-minute diatribe of why someone who’s “worked against economic opportunity for workers and ordinary people” can’t be a man of the people.
“They don’t suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes,” the president said. “That’s not the measure of populism. That’s nativism, or xenophobia, or worse. Or it’s just cynicism.”
Notice he didn’t say racism. Though you know he wanted to. That’s the something “worse.”
Mr. Obama then said he’s the one that really cares about poor kids, heath care, and fairness within the tax system.
“I suppose that makes me a populist,” Mr. Obama said. Good, glad that’s clear.
But as for Mr. Trump?
“Let’s just be clear: Somebody who labels ‘us versus them’ or engaged in rhetoric about how we’re going to look after ourselves and take it to the other guy, that’s not the definition of populism. Sorry,” Mr. Obama said.
As for the correct definition? According to Merriam Webster, populism is defined as: “a believer in the rights of wisdom, or virtues of the common people.”
Sounds like Mr. Trump to me.