Obama says Republicans won votes for Trump by wrongly framing white men as victims

  • Republicans have wrongly created a narrative where white men see themselves as "victims" who are "under attack", according to Barack Obama.
  • The former president said this belief was pervasive among many Republican voters despite the fact that it "obviously doesn't jive with both history and data and economics."
  • "That's a story that's being told and how you unwind that is going to be not something that is done right away," Obama said in a radio interview on Wednesday.
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Trump and the Republicans have won millions of votes partly by framing white American men as "victims" who are "under attack," according to former president Barack Obama.

In an interview with the Breakfast Club radio show on Wednesday, reported by The Guardian newspaper, Obama said one of the reasons Trump managed to secure a record-breaking number of votes in his defeat to Joe Biden was that Republicans have created and perpetuated "the sense that white males are victims."

"What's always interesting to me is the degree to which you've seen created in Republican politics the sense that white males are victims," Obama told the Breakfast Club radio show.

"They are the ones who are under attack — which obviously doesn't jive with both history and data and economics.

"But that's a sincere belief, that's been internalized, that's a story that's being told and how you unwind that is going to be not something that is done right away."

Obama said that pushing this narrative helped Trump secure the highest number of votes for any sitting president in American history, despite his administration "objectively" having "failed, miserably, in handling just basic looking after the American people and keeping them safe."

Trump won white men by a margin of around 31% in his 2016 election victory over Hilary Clinton, and performed particularly well among white men in rural areas. Analysis of this month's election indicates that the outgoing president lost ground with this group, though he still defeated President-elect Biden by around 23%.

In his interview on Wednesday, Obama said he understood why some black people and those from other ethnic minorities felt disappointed by what he did for them while in the White House, but insisted that he managed to improve their conditions significantly despite the constraints of Congress.

"I understand it [the disappointment] because when I was elected there was so much excitement and hope, and I also think we generally view the presidency as almost like a monarchy in the sense of once the president's there, he can just do whatever needs to get done and if he's not doing it, it must be because he didn't want to do it," he said, adding that unlike Trump, he did break the law and disregarded the constitution in the pursuit of his agenda.

Watch Obama talk about race and politics

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jezBwRpwszM

 

"The good news for me was I was very confident in what I had done for Black folks because I have the statistics to prove it," Obama said.

He warned that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris would face similar struggles in implementing their own policies if the Democrats did not win two upcoming runoff elections in Georgia. Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler are being challenged by Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock respectively.

"If the Republicans win those two seats, then Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will not be able to get any law passed that Mitch McConnell and the other Republicans aren't going to go along with," he told host DJ Envy.

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