President Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, has faced a number of questions about Donald Trump and his rise to prominence in the Republican Party. The White House has been clear about the president’s condemnation of Trump’s xenophobic policies, although not always expanding at length on his comments.
The president has indirectly referred to Trump’s rise in speeches on immigration, and in a recent interview with NPR mentioned him by name. The public Trump vs. Obama feud, however, started many years ago.
Politico reports that the West Wing “still burns over Trump leading the birth certificate charge in 2012.” Present and former Obama aides say they believe Trump was integral to the creation of fears towards the president, encouraging racism and distrust -- as he is doing now on the campaign trail.
Apparently, the president rarely brings up Trump. When he does, it is in the context of disgust and occasional comic relief. There seems to be no tangible fear within the Obama team that Trump could actually beat a Democrat to the White House.
Former Obama deputy press secretary Bill Burton also spoke to Politico, explaining: “Under no circumstances could Trump get a majority of Americans to support the nonsense and intolerance that he espouses.”
While this may be the case -- and this writer certain thinks it is -- the Trump phenomenon has a direct link to the obstructionism Republicans have engaged in on Capitol Hill and in legislative and executive offices around the country.
In other words, establishment Republicans who created this apocalyptic horseman of their own demise are now reeling because of Trump’s success. Many in the GOP have come to terms with the fact that the struggle against Trump will be a struggle for their party’s future.
The White House is not surprised that there exists a powerful, intensely racist and xenophobic wing in the GOP. Officials saw it in 2008, it was stronger in 2012 -- and now it has taken center stage.We can look forward to a fiercely political President Obama in 2016. He will actively campaign for the Democratic nominee, and we can expect him to be a strong anti-Trump pillar.