Obama speechwriter rails against Trump's State of the Union as 'white-nationalist wish list'
US President Donald Trump will become the first sitting president to address the National Rifle Association since Ronald Reagan nearly 35 years ago (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

In an op-ed for the Daily Beast, former speechwriter for President Barack Obama David Litt called out Tuesday's State of the Union address as a "white-nationalist wish list."


Litt said that he thought it was impossible to put words in a president's mouth, but with President Donald Trump's administration, he isn't as certain.

As a speechwriter, his goal was always to "write something 90 percent as good as the president would if he had the time." Not once did he attempt to manipulate the leader of the free world or create policy from a speech. "It wouldn't have worked," anyway, because the rigorous process for an Obama speech seems different than the current White House.

Litt assumed that he was similar to every other speechwriter for every other president in history: the personal trainer not a puppet master. His asterisk, however, is Trump.

"If transcribed interviews are any guide, our 45th president’s natural speech pattern is a blend of vagaries and ramblings—a word salad a few weeks past its expiration date," Litt wrote. "That’s bad for America. But an incoherent president makes the speechwriting process a golden opportunity for a staffer hoping to put a finger on the scale."

So, for major speeches, Trump has turned to top aides like Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, both of whom have a complicated history of shilling for white-supremacists and white nationalist policies.

"It was a combination of raw resentment and entitlement, a mix of David Koch and David Duke. Sure, Donald Trump did the talking. But that was President Stephen Miller’s first State of the Union Address," Litt said.

In fact, Duke praised the remarks, particularly noting the fact that all Americans are DREAMers.

Litt called out the immigration section of the speech, saying that it was the only real "fleshed-out" part of the address.

"Where Trump had once promised to protect DREAMers, and go after the 'bad hombres,' this plan was a white nationalist wish list," he wrote. "In exchange for giving 1.8 million people brought here as children a chance to become citizens, Trump’s proposed bill would slash legal immigration by 50 percent. That’s a position that would have been shockingly radical not so long ago—but Miller’s former bosses such as Michelle Bachman and Jeff Sessions would have been more than comfortable with it."

Litt explained that it's no coincidence that the only policy in the remarks were related to immigration legislation, because it's Miller's favorite subject. However, he notes that it's only been 20 days since Trump referred to the "sh*thole" countries and wanting more Norwegian immigrants.

Trump probably didn't notice that tax cuts and immigration were the two policies that dwarfed anything else in the speech, but Litt said that Congress, civil servants and American voters will.

If Trump was shooting for unity, he succeeded. "He’s uniting the trickle-down and white nationalist impulses of the Republican Party with remarkable speed," Litt wrote.