President Barack Obama cast a skeptical eye towards Donald Trump’s campaign promise to be a champion for working-class Americans at a Friday rally in Cleveland, saying he has “spent 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people.”
“There’s no record that he’s supported minimum wage or supported collective bargaining or invested in poor communities and then suddenly he’s the champion of working people?” the president said at a campaign event for Hillary Clinton. “Come on. C’mon, man.”
Obama said that Trump’s past spoke for itself, recalling that he took advantage of a nearly $916 billion loss to potentially avoid paying income taxes for years and spent his decades in public life trying to project an image as a flashy playboy.
Referring to the Republican nominee’s Thursday speech warning of a vast conspiracy of global elites working to keep working people down, Obama said Trump had always sought to be part of that ruling class.
“This is a guy who spent all his time hanging around trying to convince everybody he was a global elite,” Obama said, to laughter from the audience. “Talking about how great his buildings are, how luxurious and how rich he is and flying around everywhere, all he had time for was celebrities. And now suddenly, he’s acting like he’s a populist out there.”
“I’m going to fight for working people,” he continued, quoting Trump. “I’m going to fight for working people. C’mon, man,” he repeated.
Obama said Clinton’s record of public service and proposals to raise the minimum wage and provide equal pay for women proves that she “actually values hard work and respects working Americans.”