Obama Has 2 Big Worries

Fears about voter suppression and about Trump challenging legitimacy of the election
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2020 10:40 AM CDT
Obama: 2 Things Keep Me Awake
In this Feb. 15, 2020, file photo, former President Obama talks during a panel with NBA players Chris Paul, Kevin Love and Giannis Antetokounmpo and sports analyst Michael Wilbon in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The New York Times is out with a story on former President Obama's private remarks about his successor during fundraising events for Joe Biden. The upshot is that Obama is far more critical of President Trump in private than he is in public, but two issues in particular appear to worry Obama more than anything else. During an event Tuesday with George Clooney, somebody asked the former president what keeps him awake at night. His response: worries about voter suppression and Trump challenging the legitimacy of the November election. (The report came out before Trump publicly floated the idea Thursday of delaying the vote.)

The story also notes that at these events, Obama has accused Trump of pushing "nativist, racist, sexist" fears among his base of supporters. Obama also called out Trump for referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese virus" or "kung flu," adding "that still shocks and pisses me off." Asked for comment, Obama's office didn't dispute the negative comments but didn't elaborate, either. Meanwhile, the president turned up on the first episode of his wife's new podcast Wednesday, notes USA Today. Referring to anxiety over the pandemic and racial injustice, he said: "[There's] this sense of what we've been doing isn't working the way it should. And now I think you have this big contest of competing ideas." (More Barack Obama stories.)

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