Obama: I Don’t Think Trump Is ‘Ideological’ — ‘Ultimately He’s Pragmatic’

Monday at the White House, President Barack Obama said of President-elect Donald Trump, “I don’t think he is ideological, ultimately he’s pragmatic.”

Obama said,”Well, we had a very cordial conversation and that didn’t surprise me to some degree because I think he is obviously a gregarious person. Somebody who likes to mix it up and have a vigorous debate and what’s clear is that he was able to tap into yes, the anxieties, but also the enthusiasm of his voters in a way that’s impressive. I said so to him. I think that to the extent that there were a lot of folks who missed the Trump phenomenon, that connection that he was able to make with his supporters. That was impervious to things that would have sunk another candidate. That’s powerful stuff. I think he is coming to this office with fewer set hard and fast policy prescriptions than a lot of other presidents might be arriving with.”

“I don’t think he is ideological,” he continued. “Ultimately he is pragmatic in that way that can serve him well as long as he has good people and good sense of direction. Do I have concerns? Absolutely. Of course I have concerns. He and I differ on a whole bunch of issues. But, the federal government and our democracy is not a speed boat, it’s an ocean liner. As I discovered when I came into office, it took a lot of hard work for us to make significant policy changes, even when we had larger majorities than Mr. Trump will enjoy when he comes into office.”

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