In an Interview on the “Axe Files” podcast, President Obama told David Axelrod, his former senior advisor, that he could’ve won a third term against Donald Trump if he had been allowed to run.
“I am confident in this vision because I’m confident that if I – if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could’ve mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it,” said the President. “I know that in conversations that I’ve had with people around the country, even some people who disagreed with me, they would say the vision, the direction that you point towards is the right one.”
But the problem with this claim is that Donald Trump was essentially elected on the grounds that he would be repealing everything that President Obama put in place, which is why Obama said during the general election that it would be a “personal insult” to his legacy if voters didn’t rally behind Clinton, especially the African-American community.
The Trump campaign and Republicans presented Clinton as an untrustworthy candidate amidst the controversial John Podesta emails that Wikileaks released, and a central argument of the Trump campaign was that a Hillary Clinton Presidency would just be a third-term of Obama. That argument proved to be effective with voters and many states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan that Obama won in his previous elections ended up voting for President-elect Trump this time around.
On twitter, Trump voiced his disapproval of President Obama’s comments:
President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! – jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2016
So, when it comes to the hypothetical of Obama beating Trump in the general election and taking into account the reasons why President-elect Trump got elected – even in an unorthodox Presidential election as this one was – in the words of Simon Cowell, “it’s a no from me.”