Former President Barack Obama has been outspoken in recent months regarding his disdain toward the current president, including a recent assertion that America elected Donald Trump because bigoted voters were “spooked” by a Black man being elected to the office.
One notable former supporter, however, decried Obama’s argument as “intellectual laziness,” chastising him for the “demonization” of millions of fellow Americans, as reported by Fox News.
“Triggered a deep-seated panic”
Fox Nation host Lawrence Jones made his argument during a recent appearance on America’s Newsroom.
Co-host Sandra Smith introduced the remarks with an excerpt from Obama’s postpresidential memoir, A Promised Land.
“It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic, a sense that the natural order had been disrupted,” Obama wrote. “Which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started pedaling assertions that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president.”
He went on to make his sweeping generalization of Trump voters: “For millions of Americans spooked by a Black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety.”
Jones, who campaigned for Obama as a young Democrat, said he found those remarks to be “interesting” considering his recollection of seeing far more people being excited about the opportunity to elect the first Black president.
“More unhappy than crooked Hillary”
As evidence, he cited the fact that the 44th president was overwhelmingly elected to office twice.
While Jones told Smith that he had never been comfortable with Trump’s prior embrace of the “birther” issue — that is, the implication that Obama was not born in America — but felt that “Obama has started to demonize some of the very people that voted for him.”
He went on to note that he had spoken with Americans of all political stripes and found many who voted for Obama and then supported Trump in 2016 or 2020. Those voters, he surmised, voted for Obama not because of race but because of an inspiring message.
In turn, Jones believed they switched to supporting Trump after realizing the federal government was not working for them. Instead of attempting to understand that shift in allegiance, he complained, too many progressives chose to simply demonize these voters as racist.
When Obama showed up at a rally last month for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, Trump responded by reflecting on his 2016 win: “I think the only one, the only one more unhappy than crooked Hillary that night was Barack Hussein Obama.”