According to a report at the New York Times, Donald Trump is increasingly ramping up his attacks on former President Barrack Obama as a tough 2020 re-election campaign ramps up and he worries about a challenge by Obama's former Vice President Joe Biden.
The report notes that during Trump's South Lawn press availability on Friday, the president immediately began attacking the popular former president within minutes as he deflected questions about his own policies.
"It took all of one minute and nine seconds for President Trump to go after his predecessor on Friday — just one minute and nine seconds to re-engage in a debate that has consumed much of his own time in office over who was the better president," the Times reports, adding, "Mr. Trump has turned increasingly to Mr. Obama in recent days as a political foil."
After pointing out that Trump's outburst, "reflects Mr. Trump’s longstanding fixation with the former president," the Times suggests, "The president’s focus on Mr. Obama after about two and a half years in office was even more intense during a trip to Japan and South Korea last weekend, when Mr. Trump repeatedly raised the subject of his predecessor without being asked, assailing him on a variety of domestic and foreign policy fronts."
According to Benjamin J. Rhodes, who served as former deputy national security adviser to Mr. Obama, the current president lashes out at Obama whenever he feels he's cornered -- often making up stories to diminish his predecessor.
“When in a corner, Trump falls back on the only organizing principle he has, which is attacking Obama — and usually lying about it,” Rhodes explained. “I wouldn’t read anything more into it than that.”
Part of Trump's obsession with Obama likely stems from polling numbers that show Obama was viewed favorably by 63 percent in a Gallup survey last year, compared to Trump’s approval rating of 41 percent.
The Times goes on to note that Trump most recent attacks on Obama relate to his dealings with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un , with the president saying the U.S. would be at war with the country if Obama were still president, and that the former president routinely begged Kim to meet with him -- a story Trump repeats that has been thoroughly debunked.
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