Obama slams Trump’s appearance on RT, compares Putin to Saddam Hussein
Barack Obama slammed Donald Trump for his appearance on RT last week, accusing the Republican nominee of trying to “curry favor” with the Russian president, whom he compared to Saddam Hussein in one of his harshest comments yet about Vladimir Putin.
Obama blasted Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump for offering a soundbite to the Larry King Politicking Show that airs on RT.
“When the interviewer asks him [Trump], ‘why do you support this guy [Putin]?’ He says, ‘He is a strong guy. Look, he’s got an 82 percent poll rating.’ Well, yes, Saddam Hussein had a 90 percent poll rating. If you control the media and you’ve taken away everybody's civil liberties, and you jail dissidents, that's what happens,” Obama claimed, addressing the crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign event in Philadelphia.
“He loves this guy,” Obama added of Trump’s alleged cozy relationship with Putin. “Now their nominee is out there praising a guy, saying he’s a strong leader, because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press, and drives his economy into a recession.”
It’s not the first time that the name of Vladimir Putin has been brought up in the US presidential campaign, but this time the US president used this 'argument' while openly campaigning for Clinton against Trump. The situation has become “really ludicrous and it borders on the ridiculous,” believes Gregory R. Copley, editor of Defense & Foreign Affairs.
“In my 50 odd years covering the US government, I have never seen this level of partisanship within the administration where a sitting president actually regards the opposition party as the enemy of the state,” Copley told RT.
The analyst said that the Democrats are “blaming the messenger to revert the attention from the message.”
“The message which Donald Trump delivered on RT was unambiguous in his campaign. Just like the fact that WikiLeaks revelation of the hacked emails was very explicit in showing up what the Democratic party itself was doing,” Copley added.
The US establishment is “sacrificing key bilateral relationships in order to win [a] domestic election,” believes Copley. He added that neither Obama nor Clinton are interested in unifying the country, but they are rather “interested in winning and engaging in what modern democracy seems to have become – the tyranny of the marginal majority over the marginal minority.”
“When you think about the number of times that the Clinton campaign has brought up President Putin and the alleged Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s service, it makes you wonder just how desperate they are,” Copley noted. “President Obama has lost literally all prestige in an international community…with the loss of prestige he has become desperate.”
Barack Obama made a mistake when he diverted public attention towards Trump’s interview with Larry King and gave the Republican candidate some free publicity, media personality Lionel told RT.
“Larry King does his show for the organization called ORA that gets covered on RT. What are we talking about here? Larry King that is the issue. Larry King has talked to every human being on the planet at one time or the other,” Lionel told RT.
“What did Donald Trump say about either Putin or Russia? What was it that he said that was so important to repeat it but in any way causes anyone to show concern? And nobody can point to it. It is just this repeated idea that ‘He must have said something wrong, because everybody keeps talking about it, and since all I do is rea the headlines, I’m going to repeat it too!’”
“Nobody cares about this. Nobody is talking about this,” said Lionel stressing that the media in the US is busy covering Hilary Clinton’s health problems. “This is absolutely old news. Great publicity for RT – fantastic – and Larry King and Donald Trump. They are repeating by virtue of the story what Donald Trump said.”
Discussing Obama’s belligerent comparison of the Russian leader, Lionel said that the US leader’s reference to Putin and Hussein was a failed attempt to sway undecided voters to vote for the Democrats.
“I promise you nobody came home and said: ‘You know what, I’m voting for Hilary because I heard today a juxtaposition between Putin and Saddam Hussein! That’s all I needed to hear!’” Lionel said.
Obama’s attempt to use Trump’s interview on RT as a “battering ram” in his campaigning for Clinton failed, since there was nothing “terribly controversial” about it, according to one commentator from Risk Cooperative.
“It was a fairly straightforward proposition. I saw the interview. I didn’t think there was anything terribly controversial about it,” Daniel Wagner, managing director, told RT.
“I really don’t understand why there has to be some sort of connotation that anything Russian is automatically bad, but, unfortunately, there are many people in America who would equate anything Russian with being bad just like they would equate anything with China to be bad. They don’t understand the world. They don’t understand that there are other media platforms out there, that RT is one of the largest in the world…”
“There are a lot of people who have never got out of the Cold War mentality and continue to believe that Mr Putin is the bogeyman and everything he does again is bad, and anything that is done by other people is good,” he added.
Throwing around words and accusations during the election season is a “dangerous thing to do” and “certainly doesn’t help set a useful stage” for later on after the election is over, Wagner noted.