Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that former President Donald Trump was able to rise to the presidency without ever holding public office because he was able to speak directly to people who felt “left out by globalization” and “diminished by elites.”
Ms. Rice, a professor at Stanford University who served as secretary of state under the George W. Bush administration, said on “The Carlos Watson Show” that she preferred to analyze the previous administration through an academic lens.
“What really struck me, and maybe because I’m a political scientist, is the conditions that produced a populist leader who had never been in government before was something I think that a lot of us had not paid much attention to, frankly,” she said.
“He touched the nerve of people who felt left out by globalization, who felt diminished by elites,” she continued. “He touched the hearts of people by saying, ‘You know, you contribute too, and they’ve forgotten you. They look down on you.’ And that’s something that we need to still pay attention to. So as a political scientist I was more interested in what produced this in our society.”
Host Carlos Watson said he was “surprised” by Ms. Rice sounding like “someone who is supportive” of Mr. Trump when she had previously been critical of him and did not endorse either of his campaigns.
“Some of the Trump policy was better than it sounded,” Ms. Rice explained. “There was an extraordinary ability to get people back to work who had not been working for years if you look at historic low unemployment rates before the pandemic. So, we shouldn’t just kind of try to toss this out because he was an unusual personality.”
“What I want to be is analytical about it,” she added. “I don’t want to be emotional about it.”
Ms. Rice described herself as an “institutionalist” and said Mr. Trump‘s attempts to delegitimize certain institutions, like the November election, was what “worried” her about his presidency. She said the fact that President Biden’s election was still certified the night of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot proved “the system worked.”