Washington, June 30: US President Barack Obama has disputed the idea that Donald Trump is a populist and described the presumptive Republican nominee's remarks as xenophobic and cynical.
"Somebody who has never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues or making sure that poor kids are getting a decent shot at life or have health care -- in fact, have worked against economic opportunity for workers and ordinary people -- they don't suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes," Obama said in an apparent reference to Trump, 70. "That's not the measure of populism.
That's nativism. Or xenophobia. Or worse. Or it's just cynicism," Obama told reporters. "So I would just advise everybody to be careful about suddenly attributing to whoever pops up at a time of economic anxiety the label that they're populist," he said in response to a question.
"Where have they been? Have they been on the frontlines working on behalf of working people? Have they been carrying the labouring oar to open up opportunity for more people?" he asked. On the other hand, Senator Bernie Sanders from Vermont deserves to be called populist.
"There are people like Bernie Sanders who I think genuinely deserved the title, because he has been in the vineyards fighting on behalf of these issues. And there, the question is just going to be, all right, we share values, we share goals -- how do we achieve them?" he said.