In an interview with NPR, President Barack Obama suggested that the presidential campaign of Donald Trump was exploiting the fears of “blue-collar men” in America.
NPR‘s Steve Inskeep asked the president about the “anxieties” that conservative-leaning voters feel about him and his presidency. This inspired Obama to discuss aspects of the Republican party “that suggest that somehow I’m different, I’m Muslim, I’m disloyal to the country, etc.” In other words, unsubstantiated beliefs spread most efficiently by grandparents and estranged aunts and uncles via forwarded email chains.
According to Obama, Trump’s campaign has been so successful because it makes adept use of these popular conservative fears.
“When you combine that demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through — because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization, the fact that wages and incomes have been flat-lining for some time, and that particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck — you combine those things,” the president argued, “and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear.”
“I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”
Trump is currently too busy demanding an apology from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over remarks made at Saturday’s debate. He hasn’t made his way to Obama yet, but his campaign is surely hard at work on their latest Instagram non-ad.
Check out the full interview above, via NPR.
[Image via screengrab]
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