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Obama says Trump did ‘serious damage’ to some of his signature policies

‘With Joe and Kamala coming in, the ability to pick up where we left off and keep on going remains’

Louise Hall
Thursday 10 December 2020 10:48 GMT
Obama shares frustration with government response to pandemic

Barack Obama has said he thinks Donald Trump did “serious damage” to certain major policies implemented during his time in office, but has insisted that the Affordable Care Act remains “robust” to challenges.

In an interview with New York Magazine published on Wednesday, the former president was quizzed on whether he kept tabs on the attempts of Mr Trump to “dismantle” his legacy.

“I don’t think about it in those terms,” Mr Obama said, explaining that he doesn’t closely monitor every challenge to his policies by the Trump administration.

“I do pay attention; I have paid attention to those areas where what the Trump administration attempted to do did some serious damage and where it’s more of a short-term setback on what is a long-term success.”

The former president maintained that there is one of his signature policies that has remained a “successful policy” and is “actually popular” among Americans.

“So although it was nip-and-tuck for a while, the Affordable Care Act remains robust,” he said.

Mr Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly sought to dismantle the landmark healthcare legislation that has insured millions of Americans following its passage under Mr Obama.

Among other major policies, Mr Obama acknowledged “there’s been some damage done" to climate-change regulations.

“And in some cases, there are some things that are going to be harder to undo. Even on climate change, every year you lose is a problem,” he said.

The former president remained optimistic that the new administration under President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, would have “the ability to pick up where we left off and keep on going.”

Mr Trump, a vocal critic of the former president, has attempted to dismantle a number of Obama-era policies while in office, with conflict over such attempts having even carried through to his final months as president.

On Friday, a federal judge ordered the outgoing administration to fully reinstate the Obama-era 'Dreamers' programme which he terminated in 2017, delivering a significant blow to the outgoing administration.

The Affordable Care Act also appears likely to survive a challenge at the US Supreme Court, with several justices including members of its now-conservative majority, signaling that they would not support a constitutional challenge to the law over its individual mandate.

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