Obama Calls Trump Behavior ‘Not Normal’ As He Pitches ‘Normal President’ Biden

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Andrew Solender   Forbes U.S. Staff

Obama Calls Trump Behavior ‘Not Normal’ As He Pitches ‘Normal President’ Biden

Photo: Barack Obama Twitter

Former President Barack Obama took to the campaign trail once again on Saturday to offer a harsh assessment of his successor, particularly taking aim at his halted 60 Minutes interview and casting his behavior as “not normal” while pitching Democratic candidate Joe Biden as a “normal president.”

KEY FACTS

- After a searing speech in Pennsylvania on Wednesday in which he deemed President Trump’s appointments and handling of the pandemic a failure, Obama traveled to Florida on Saturday and took aim at Trump for walking out of the interview after Lesley Stahl asked about his second-term plans.

- "He thought the questions were too tough,” Obama said, asserting that if Trump can’t answer it then “it's our job to make sure he doesn't get a second term.”

- Obama also pitched the interview as a referendum on Trump’s toughness, claiming he acts tough by “scowling and being mean” and arguing, "If you gotta walk out of a 60 Minutes interview, you're never gonna stand up to a dictator.”

- Citing Trump’s bombastic rhetoric and calls to prosecute his political opponents, Obama took aim at Trump’s “not normal behavior,” quipping, “'Florida man' wouldn't even do this stuff."

- Obama, the first Black president, hit Trump for comparing himself to Abraham Lincoln at the final presidential debate, noting black unemployment went down during his presidency but skyrocketed under Trump during the pandemic.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“Joe understands that the first job of a president is to keep us safe from all threats domestic, foreign and microscopic," Obama said, a clear shot at Trump for playing down the severity of the pandemic. "When the daily intelligence briefings are flashing warnings about a virus, the president can't be AWOL... the commander in chief can't be MIA."

CHIEF CRITIC

Trump signaled he watched Obama’s speech with much antipathy. “Nobody is showing up for Obama’s hate laced speeches,” he tweeted shortly after his predecessor concluded, claiming without evidence that “47 people” showed up and declaring “No energy, but still better than Joe!”

BIG NUMBER

58%. That’s the percent of voters who expressed a favorable view of Obama in a Morning Consult poll in August, compared to just 37% who had an unfavorable view of him. Trump, by contrast, was rated favorably in that poll by 39% of respondents, while 57% said they have an unfavorable view.

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Andrew Solender   Forbes U.S. Staff

I am a news desk reporter covering politics and the 2020 election. I have previously worked for MSNBC and Chronogram Magazine. I attended Vassar College and the London School of Economics.