NBC Claims Trump Is ‘Nervous’ of Obama Using the ‘Might’ of His Name to Help Biden

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In two college graduation speeches over the weekend, former President Obama bashed President Trump for his handling of the coronavirus crisis. Of course, this drew the adulation of the liberal media. Sunday’s Meet the Press on NBC was a prime example of this as their panel of journalists gushed and suggested Trump was “nervous” of Obama becoming active in the 2020 race, and said the bashing was just the beginning of Obama using the “might” of his name.

At the top of the panel discussion, NBC political director Chuck Todd showed off a soundbite of Obama’s speech, and teed up NBC White House correspondent Peter Alexander to tout how the address was an example of “one vision of leadership, versus what we have seen from President Trump in recent days.” The implication was that Obama’s was the right kind of leadership.

“But what this really, sort of, underscores is that break in what was that, sort of, presidential tradition where there wasn’t any criticism, sort of, back and forth,” Alexander said.

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To follow up Alexander, Todd looked to PBS White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor to comment on how Obama was “careful with his words. That’s a written speech. That’s a vetted speech. He made this decision to engage.”

Alcindor gushed about how the former President was “ready for this fight” and how it was Obama “really getting into general election territory and starting to gear up the might of the Obama name.”

 

 

She also boasted about how Obama’s recent comments built off of previous comments he had made about the coronavirus response being a “chaotic disaster”:

And he was trying to get them excited about Joe Biden, saying that President Trump’s response to the coronavirus was a “chaotic disaster.” That was, of course, President Obama’s direct words.

So, what you see there is President Obama coming to the defense of his Vice President and coming to his own defense without actually directly talking about this conspiracy theory that President Trump is now talking about, which is whether or not President Trump broke some — or president Obama broke some sort of law.

I think what you see, though, this week is President Trump really leaning in on his 2016 instincts. He’s back where he was in 2016, which is that he’s going on the offensive with Obama.

Roughly 20 minutes later, Todd chided Trump’s sense for political strategy, downplayed how polarizing a figure Obama was, and suggested Trump was afraid of him. “He seems to be wanting to make Obama as polarizing as he possibly can. He clearly seems to be nervous that Obama could be an effective surrogate for Biden,” he told Alexander.

Alexander thought Todd was “exactly right” and claimed, “Obama remains the most popular political figure in the country right now.” He further claimed it was “obvious” how frightened Trump was because “you can read right into it.” Adding: “White House officials will tell you as much that the President is trying to chip away at the popularity, trying to make the former President a polarizing figure here.”

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC’s Meet the Press
May 17, 2020
11:07:09 a.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: Well, Peter, I assumed I would have been starting with a tweet from the President this morning responding to President Obama. That hasn’t happened yet. Let’s play a little bit of President Obama not so subtly taking a dig at the pandemic response from national leadership.

FMR. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: More than anything, this pandemic has fully finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge. If the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you.

TODD: Peter, I assume this becomes something that’s a bit of a — a bit of an attention seeker for the President today.

PETER ALEXANDER: Well, we have seen it over the course of the last several days from President Trump attacking his predecessor, Barack Obama, what he calls Obamagate. This weekend, he’s at Camp David meeting with some of his conservative allies. A White House official telling me it’s certain their desire so far fruitless to try to show evidence that President Obama committed a crime. The President was asked that very question, President Trump this week. The President couldn’t identify what crime he’s accusing President Obama of, but I’m told by this official, it’s certain they’ll be discussing that topic there.

But what this really, sort of, underscores is that break in what was that, sort of, presidential tradition where there wasn’t any criticism, sort of, back and forth. We have seen it. Last night, you saw Barack Obama speaking at a commencement address to Americans. Sort of, one vision of leadership, versus what we have seen from President Trump in recent days.

They each offered one world, I guess, they punctuated this week. From President Trump, who’s trying to knock out Joe Biden at the same time he knocks on Barack Obama. He said Obamagate. From Barack Obama, he said vote. Chuck.

TODD: Yamiche Alcindor, look, former President Obama, you know, he’s careful with his words. That’s a written speech. That’s a vetted speech. He made this decision to engage. It is going to spark a political back and forth.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: It is, but I think what we see now is President Obama really getting into general election territory and starting to gear up the might of the Obama name. He is ready for this fight. He was at first caught really on a private call talking to staffers. And he was trying to get them excited about Joe Biden, saying that President Trump’s response to the coronavirus was a “chaotic disaster.” That was, of course, President Obama’s direct words.

So, what you see there is President Obama coming to the defense of his Vice President and coming to his own defense without actually directly talking about this conspiracy theory that President Trump is now talking about, which is whether or not President Trump broke some — or president Obama broke some sort of law.

I think what you see, though, this week is President Trump really leaning in on his 2016 instincts. He’s back where he was in 2016, which is that he’s going on the offensive with Obama. He’s also in some ways leaning and not listening to the scientists saying, “Hey, you really need to slow down and be cautious about reopening.” This week, he said I think it was the line of the week. He said, “vaccine or no vaccine, we’re back.” He could have said test or no test, we’re back. He could have said, scientists or no scientists, we’re back. The clear sign there is that we’re back in his mind.

(…)

11:26:46 a.m. Eastern

TODD: And Peter Alexander, you know, one thing about President Trump some people overread his — what he does as strategy, but I think some people underlook it, some of his moves about strategy. He seems to be wanting to make Obama as polarizing as he possibly can. He clearly seems to be nervous that Obama could be an effective surrogate for Biden.

ALEXANDER: Yeah, Chuck. I think you’re exactly right. I mean, President, former President Barack Obama remains the most popular political figure in the country right now. And it’s obvious, you can read right into it, White House officials will tell you as much that the President is trying to chip away at the popularity, trying to make the former President a polarizing figure here.

(…)

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