Obama: Trump Not Ideological, But Pragmatic

|

President Obama is asked by ABC's Martha Raddatz what "concerns" him about a Trump presidency at a press conference held Monday afternoon. The president said Trump was able to tap into the "anxieties" of people and had few "policy prescriptions" but believes he is more pragmatic than ideological.

"Some of the harsh words you had about Mr. Trump, calling him temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief, did anything surprise you about President-Elect Trump when you met with him in your office and also I want to know does anything concern you about a Trump presidency?" ABC's Raddatz asked.

"Well, we had a very cordial conversation and that didn't surprise me to some degree because I think that he is obviously a gregarious person, he's somebody who I think likes to mix it up and to have a vigorous debate," Obama answered. "And what's clear is that he was able to tap into yes the anxieties but also the enthusiasm of voters in a way that was impressive and I said so to him."

"I don't think he is ideological. I think ultimately, he's pragmatic in that way. And that can serve him well. As long as he's got good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction," the president said.

Transcript:

MARTHA RADDATZ, ABC NEWS: Some of the harsh words you had about Mr. Trump, calling him temperamentally unfit to be commander-in-chief, did anything surprise you about President-Elect Trump when you met with him in your office and also I want to know does anything concern you about a Trump presidency?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we had a very cordial conversation and that didn't surprise me to some degree because I think that he is obviously a gregarious person, he's somebody who I think likes to mix it up and to have a vigorous debate. And what's clear is that he was able to tap into yes the anxieties but also the enthusiasm of voters in a way that was impressive and I said so to him.

Because I think that to the extent that there were a lot of folks who missed the Trump phenomenon, I think that connection that he was able to make with his supporters, that was impervious to the events that might have sunk another candidate, that's powerful stuff.

I also think that he is coming to this office with fewer set hard and fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with. I don't think he is ideological. I think ultimately, he's pragmatic in that way. And that can serve him well. As long as he's got good people around him and he has a clear sense of direction.

Do I have concerns? Absolutely, of course I've got concerns. He and I differ on a whole bunch of issues. But you know, the federal government and our democracy is not a speedboat. Its an ocean liner.

Comment
Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives