WASHINGTON (AA) – U.S. President Barack Obama accused Republican front-runner Donald Trump of exploiting the fears and anxiety among the working class, in a National Public Radio interview Monday.
Citing economic stresses caused by the financial crisis of 2008, the increased reliance on new technology, globalization, and stagnant income as well as the changing demography of the nation, Obama said: “Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”
During a campaign speech at Iowa on Saturday, Trump, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, told the crowd that tough times were ahead for the U.S. economy.
The Republican front-runner said “the [economic] bubble” was to burst soon but added he preferred it to happen on Obama’s watch.
Trump has been critical of the Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement with Pacific Rim nations, which the real estate mogul describes as a “deal that was designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the backdoor and totally take advantage of everyone”.
He has promised his supporters to bring back American jobs lost to China and other countries where the American companies benefit from low costs of labor force.
He has lambasted the Obama administration’s immigration policy which aims to open a way to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country. Trump proposes the massive deportation all 11 million from the U.S.
Trump has also called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in the wake of the San Bernadino attack in which 14 people were killed by two suspected Daesh sympathizers.
Obama, during the radio interview, also defended his anti-Daesh strategy and noted the U.S.-led coalition’s success against the terror group.
Obama noted that many of his critics suggested “bombing more, or being less discriminant”.
“I make no apologies for us wanting to do this appropriately and in a way that is consistent with American values,” he added.
He acknowledged the worries of American people but urged that people should keep things in perspective.
He said that Daesh cannot destroy the U.S. nor poses a risk to the country as a “huge industrial power”.
“So if people haven’t seen the fact that in fact 9,000 strikes have been carried out against ISIL [Daesh], if they don’t know that towns like Sinjar that were controlled by ISIL have been taken back, or that a town like Tikrit, that was controlled by ISIL, now has been repopulated by previous residents, then they might feel as if there is not enough of a response,” he added.
The president also suggested that Daesh should at the same time be taken seriously because of domestic shootings which might be inspired by the militant group.
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