In a press conference today, President Barack Obama suggested that those fearful of a Donald Trump presidency should take comfort in the fact that Trump will likely not follow through on many of his campaign’s promises.
While speaking with reporters, Obama said that he believes Trump does not have bad intentions heading into the White House and that he will do the best he can to deliver both for his supporters and for those who didn’t vote for him. However, Obama implied that he doesn’t necessarily think Trump will govern the same way he campaigned and probably won’t deliver on many of his promises.
“There are certain things that make for good sound bites but don’t always translate into good policies,” Obama said.
Obama did not specify what sound bites he was referring to, but Trump has, for example, already walked back his promise to completely repeal Obamacare and to make Mexico pay for a wall along the southern border. Obama added that the office of the presidency has a way of waking you up, and that “reality has a way of asserting itself.”
He later said that Trump is more pragmatic than ideological; Obama stated that he believes Trump has fewer policy prescriptions coming into the White House than a typical candidate does, and so presumably Obama thinks that Trump will be more willing to compromise with Democrats than a traditional Republican would.
The president was consistently pressed about if he still believes Donald Trump is unfit to be president. Obama avoided the question several times, but he did say that he “of course” still has concerns about Trump taking office. Given how many Americans are currently fearful of the Trump administration, Obama said that Trump should reach out to those minority groups who are angry right now, adding that he’s sure Trump will do this at some point.
“It’s really important to try to send some signal of unity, and to reach out to minority groups, or women, or others, that were concerned about the tenor of the campaign,” Obama said. “And I think that’s something that he will want to do.”
Obama added that although those opposed to Donald Trump must accept the fact that he is going to be the next president, this election should serve as a reminder that voting matters. The president pointed to the fact that nearly half of the country’s registered voters did not participate in the election.
“I don’t know how many times we have to relearn this lesson,” Obama said.