Donald Trump doesn’t have the street cred to be a populist, President Barack Obama said Wednesday, opening a new line of attack against the Republican businessman.
Trump’s rhetoric might qualify as nativism or xenophobia, but the real measure of populism means helping the little guy, Obama told reporters. The president argued that he – and maybe Sen. Bernie Sanders — are the real populists by that measure.
“Somebody who labels us versus them or engages in rhetoric about how we’re gonna look after ourselves and take it to the other guy, that’s not the definition of populism,” Obama said. “Sorry.”
Obama didn’t mention Trump by name during his joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Ottawa. But virtually every question made reference to the presumptive Republican nominee, whether it was his anti-immigrant rhetoric or vows to blow up NAFTA and tear up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, of which all three countries are parties.