Republican Presidential candidates are increasingly focused on U.S. President Barack Obama, invoking deeply held prejudices and promoting misinformation, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now built mostly on her claim to be the most eligible torchbearer of the Obama legacy. And according to Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders, the President is a progressive.
While Hillary wants to cash in on his legacy and Sanders hails him as 'a progressive', squabbling Republicans are unanimous in spreading misinformation about him.
A 60-year-old white lady, a registered Democrat, at a campaign gathering of Republican Ted Cruz in New Hampshire last week, said she was considering voting the Republicans this time. Her resentment against the Democrats rises from only one factor -- President Barack Obama. “He is too domineering. He doesn’t listen to even Vice-President Biden,” she said.
Her perception goes against objective evidence, but proves the success of a Republican strategy of constantly undermining the President. Republican presidential candidates are increasingly focused on Mr. Obama, invoking deeply held prejudices and promoting misinformation, while Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now built mostly on her claim to be the most eligible torchbearer of the Obama legacy.
And what Rubio says oft of Obama
One of the scripted lines that Marco Rubio, the rising star among the Republican aspirants, keeps repeating is, “let’s dispel once and for all this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”
After opponents ridiculed him for repeating this line at least four times on Saturday’s debate, Mr. Rubio said on Sunday that he would continue to say this. The point that he makes is that Mr. Obama is deliberately destroying America, as part of a conspiracy.
Other insinuations against President
Some remarks by the other Republicans candidates have been clearer in their insinuation. Mike Huckabee, who dropped out of the race said, “Obama wants us to learn the entire Koran.”
Ted Cruz keeps saying the Iran nuclear deal is Mr. Obama’s way of funding jihad; and on Wednesday, front runner Donald Trump said Mr. Obama visited a mosque because he may be “comfortable “ there.
‘His damage to U.S. is deliberate’
“All this damage that he’s done to America is deliberate,” is another one of Mr. Rubio’s scripted lines that repeats frequently in his public appearances.
Republicans are fanning a widely shared folly among the American public and hoping to benefit from it – that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.
Many wrongly think he is a Muslim
According to a poll in September last year, in which the CNN partnered, 29 per cent of all Americans believe Mr. Obama is a Muslim. For Republicans alone, it was 43 per cent. And 15 percent of Democrats also believe that he is a Muslim.
In not so subtle ways, the Republican candidates have weaved this lie into their campaigns.
Hillary cashing in on President
But Mr. Obama’s continuing popularity among the progressives, the blacks and minorities has become the mainstay of Ms. Clinton’s campaign. Her key point of attack against her Democratic opponent Mr. Sanders is that he is not sufficiently faithful to the Obama legacy.
“According to Senator Sanders, President Obama is also not a progressive because he has accepted donations from corporates,” Ms. Clinton said, trying to ward off criticism that she was beholden to the Wall Street.
For Sanders, he is a progressive
As for Mr. Sanders, Mr. Obama is perhaps the only living politician that he has associated himself with, though with riders. Asked whether he considered Mr. Obama progressive, Mr. Sanders said in the Thursday debate: “Do I think President Obama is a progressive? Yeah, I do. I disagree with him on a number of issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but he’s done a great job.”
Both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders had earlier in the campaign sought to keep a distance from the Obama legacy, but their increasing reliance on him is instructive of his popularity. On the other side of the fence too, the only point squabbling Republican candidates agree on is Mr. Obama.