President Donald Trump is reportedly fuming, becoming more desperate and erratic as former President Obama appears to be getting under his skin by returning to the campaign trail to help Democrat Joe Biden’s election.
Obama has traveled to the swing states of Pennsylvania and Florida to stump for his former vice president, to the apparent annoyance of Trump — who is zeroing in on his predecessor more than ever as he tries to end his presidency.
Trump lashed out at Fox News for airing an Obama speech from Florida on Tuesday, just the latest incident of him lashing out at Obama.
As noted by The Hill, “Trump has mentioned Obama repeatedly on Twitter, talked about him during the debates and criticized him at rallies, usually referring to ‘Barack Hussein Obama’ to mock the former president’s middle name.”
Democrats relish the antagonism, believing Obama is unnerving Trump.
“He has allowed Obama to get under his skin and is obsessed with the fact that his presidency pales in comparison to the prior one,” said Ben LaBolt, who served as a spokesman to Obama at the White House and on his presidential campaigns.
“He is living in a fantasy land where he is just a celebrated cable commentator on Fox commenting on the conspiracy theory of the day and he doesn’t have to run against Joe Biden to win another term,” LaBolt said. “But reality is creeping up on him fast.”
Trump, for years, has been obsessed with Obama. Since 2011, he helped fuel a conspiracy theory that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and thus ineligible for the presidency.
Since getting elected, Trump has spent much of the past four years trying to undo fundamental pieces of Obama’s legislation, including the Affordable Care Act. Time and again, he has also accused Obama of spying on his 2016 campaign.
“Remember I wouldn’t be President now had Obama and Biden properly done their job,” Trump wrote on Twitter earlier this month. “The fact is, they were TERRIBLE!!!”
Political observers have long seen the attacks as petty, attributing Trump’s actions to jealousy of his predecessor.
Basil Smikle, who served as the executive director of the New York State Democratic Party, says race is also involved.
“He has a racist, paternalistic view of Black people which makes him unable to accept Obama’s success and accolades, which is evident in everything from Trump’s promotion of birtherism to the dismantling of key Obama-era policies,” Smikle said.