Former US president Barack Obama has lambasted right-wing media outlets for doing “everything they can to give people a sense that their way of life is threatened and that people are trying to take advantage of them.”
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Obama said that “certain right-wing media venues … monetize and capitalize on stoking the fear and resentment of white population that is witnessing a changing America and seeing demographic changes.”
Republican politicians who have been “cowed into accepting” a range of positions that were “unrecognizable and unacceptable” in the past were also targeted by Obama in the interview.
Obama, who is a Democrat, said Republicans have been “cowed into accepting” a range of positions that “would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago.”
The former president pointed out in the interview that the current low state of adherence to Democratic principles now prevalent in the Republican Party should make all people worry.
"We have to worry," Obama said, "when one of our major political parties is willing to embrace a way of thinking about our democracy that would be unrecognizable and unacceptable even five years ago or a decade ago."
He said that he thought that there were guard rails in place to control the “dark spirits” that began to rise among the Republicans during his time as president, and they would never gain enough power to become the ringleaders of the GOP. “I thought that there were enough guard rails institutionally.”
Obama criticized the belief among many Republicans that it was okay to keep silent about former President Donald Trump’s propagation of election lies.
He said the Republicans’ silence on Trump’s lies finally led to the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill.
“The reason for that is because the base believed it,” Obama said. “The base believed it because this had been told to them not just by the president, but by the media that they watch, and nobody stood up and said, ‘Stop.’”
Obama, however, acknowledged that there were a few Republicans, who had stood up and spoken the truth about Trump’s role in causing the violence on Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, Trump has returned to the political arena, railing against his successor Joe Biden and predicting that the Republican Party will triumph in the 2022 midterm elections.
Speaking at the North Carolina Republican Convention on Saturday night, Trump blasted “radical Democrats” once again, reiterating his claims that the November election was rigged.