Former President Barack Obama says President Donald Trump’s and Republican lawmakers’ brazen refusal to accept President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory amounts to behavior that would earn his own children a scolding while paving a “dangerous path” for democracy.
“We would never accept that out of our own kids, behaving that way if they lost, right?” Obama posed to anchor Scott Pelley in a CBS News’ “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night. “I mean, if my daughters, in any kind of competition, pouted … and then accused the other side of cheating when they lost, when there was no evidence of it, we’d scold them.”
GOPUSA Editor’s Note: This story is divided into 2 parts. Scroll down for Michelle.
Obama’s comments came in response to Pelley asking about the impact of Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, which have persisted daily despite state and local officials of both parties reporting no evidence of fraud or anomalies that could impact the race. Even the Trump administration’s own election cybersecurity teams have directly refuted the president’s baseless claims that a conspiracy or “radical left” voting system stunted his victory; in fact, Trump administration election security officials say the Nov. 3 election was the most secure in American history.
“The president doesn’t like to lose, and never admits loss,” said Obama, who noted he was “more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that’s a dangerous path.”
Obama, who chose Biden to serve as vice president alongside him during two terms in the White House, compared some of Trump’s actions to those of an authoritarian.
“I think that there has been this sense over the last several years that literally anything goes and is justified in order to get power,” Obama said. “And that’s not unique to the United States. There are strong men and dictators around the world who think that, ‘I can do anything to stay in power. I can kill people. I can throw them in jail. I can run phony elections. I can suppress journalists.’ But that’s not who we’re supposed to be. And one of the signals I think that Joe Biden needs to send to the world is that, ‘No, those values that we preached, and we believed in and subscribed in, we still believe.’”
Fox News and The Washington Post have noted that while Trump often rails against the press, Obama prosecuted a record number of suspected leakers under the Espionage Act, and quietly targeted journalists as well in efforts to root out leakers.
But Obama on Sunday zeroed in on “a whole host of basic institutional norms, expectations” long observed by both parties that Trump had “disregarded” during his four years in office.
“And maybe most importantly, and most disconcertingly, what we’ve seen is what some people call truth decay, something that’s been accelerated by outgoing President Trump, the sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn’t even matter,” Obama argued.
The former president, whose new memoir, “A Promised Land,” releases Tuesday, acknowledged critics who suggest he should have spoken out more forcefully against Trump early on. But Obama noted that he was following not only his own temperament but historical standards of political decorum between former presidents and new occupants of the Oval Office.
Trump has refused to concede the election, despite losing to Biden by a wide Electoral College margin, 306 to 232, and losing the popular vote by more than 5 million votes. Biden flipped several key states that Trump won in 2016, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia. Electors from each state vote in mid-December and Congress counts the results on Jan. 6. Lawmakers may object to any returns from states. For more on the next steps, read here.
Obama advocated for “the set of traditions that we have followed in the peaceful transfer of power,” including congratulating the incoming commander in chief, instructing the government and agencies to cooperate with the incoming team and inviting the president-elect to the White House.
“And then you drive to the inauguration site, and the outgoing president sits there and is part of the audience as the new president is sworn in,” Obama said. “And at that point, the outgoing president is a citizen like everybody else and owes the new president the chance to do their best on behalf of the American people. Whether Donald Trump will do the same thing, we’ll have to see. So far, that’s not been his approach. But you know, hope springs eternal.”
Former First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday emphasized that the idea of democracy in the United States is “much bigger than anybody’s ego,” referencing the transition of power that President Donald Trump is resisting after he lost to Joe Biden in early November.
Obama referenced the process that she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, experienced when the George W. Bush administration welcomed them to the White House. The Obamas also welcomed Trump to Washington D.C. as well – as is tradition in the United States.
Trump, though, has refused to invite president-elect Joe Biden to the White House. Melania Trump has also declined to meet with Jill Biden.
On Monday, Trump tweeted “I won the Election,” prompting Twitter to add a note to the tweet saying, “Official sources called the election differently.”
Obama shared the angst she had for meeting with the Trumps, however, it didn’t prevent them from helping the 45th president and his administration get settled. Obama said she hoped that Hilary Clinton was going to succeed them in office, however, the former First Lady said once the American people spoke, it was their responsibility to listen.
“I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger,” Obama said in an Instagram post. “That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside.”
In welcoming Melania Trump to the nation’s capital, Obama said she shared her experiences of raising children in the White House to the heighten scrutiny that comes with being first lady.
“Our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don’t like them or wish it had gone differently – the presidency doesn’t belong to any one individual or any one party,” Obama said. “To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories – whether for personal or political gain – is to put our country’s health and security in danger. This isn’t a game.”
On Sunday night, a 60 Minutes interview aired with former President Barack Obama, who compared Trump’s reaction to losing the election to that of a child.
“We would never accept that out of our own kids, behaving that way if they lost, right?” Barack Obama said. “I mean, if my daughters, in any kind of competition, pouted … and then accused the other side of cheating when they lost, when there was no evidence of it, we’d scold them.”
The former president’s comments came in response to a question on the impact of Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, which have persisted daily despite state and local officials of both parties reporting no evidence of fraud or anomalies that could impact the race.
Even the Trump administration’s own election cybersecurity teams have directly refuted the president’s baseless claims that a conspiracy or “radical left” voting system stunted his victory; in fact, Trump administration election security officials say the Nov. 3 election was the most secure in American history.
“I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history,” Michelle Obama said.
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