Obama used the events to eviscerate President Donald Trump’s record in office and what he saw as abnormal behavior by a sitting president.
But, if he had his way, Obama says he would have preferred not to have been campaigning. During an interview with CBS News’ Gayle King that aired on Sunday, Obama said, “It is not my preference to be out there.”
He explained, “I think we were in a circumstance in this election in which certain norms, certain institutional values that are so extraordinarily important had been breached, that it was important for me as somebody who had served in that office to simply let people know this is not normal.”
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During a rally in Florida in October, Obama blasted Trump as he said, “We’ve gotten so numb to what is bizarre behavior.”
“We have a president right now who lies multiple times a day […] Even Florida man wouldn’t be doing some of this stuff. Why would we accept it from president of the United States?”
He also cautioned that while it is “almost too easy” to make fun of Trump’s behavior, he added, “This is the most powerful office on earth. And when people see the president doing things like that, it emboldens other people to be mean, and cruel, and divisive, and racist. And it frays the fabric of our lives.”
While Biden won the election with a projected 306 electoral votes and more than 78 million votes, Trump garnered the support of roughly 73 million Americans.
When asked what he thought that shows about the state of the country, Obama said, “What it says is that we are still deeply divided.”
“The power of that alternative world-view that’s presented in the media that those voters consume it carries a lot of weight,” he added.
Obama went on to say it is “very hard for our democracy to function if we are operating on just completely different sets of facts.”