Obama says Trump ‘not considered a serious guy’ in New York

Former President Obama slammed former President Trump in a new podcast for not being considered a “serious guy” in New York City — where Trump spent most of his time before the White House, growing his fame and businesses.

Obama was asked on the “SmartLess” podcast by co-host Jason Bateman whether he was surprised how quickly the “protection and passion for democracy was diluted” in recent years. Obama responded by noting the trend began during former President Clinton’s time in the White House before accelerating during his presidency.


Obama blasts Trump for not being a serious guy in New York



“I have been surprised that there haven’t been guardrails inside the Republican Party. Trump didn’t surprise me,” he said, before taking aim at Trump.

“I mean, he comes from New York. There’s nobody in New York who does business with him or lend him money. He’s not considered a serious guy here,” Obama added.

Obama appeared alongside Clinton and President Biden in the newest episode of the “SmartLess” podcast. The trio of presidents recorded the podcast March 28 in New York City.

Obama went on to explain how he thought more Republicans would say some of Trump’s behavior went too far.


Foreign policy: Where Obama and Trump can sound similar | CNN Politics



“But, so I was surprised he was elected, but I wasn’t surprised in terms of his behavior. I did expect, and I suspect Bill and Joe, you’d agree with this, that there would be some folks in the Republican Party who would say, no, you can’t go that far. You can’t start praising Putin and saying that his intelligence is better than the US intelligence agencies,” he said.

Trump is currently entangled in a number of legal battles, including two out of New York. He will be spending most of the next few weeks sitting in a Manhattan courtroom for the hush money trial, where he is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Trump has railed against his hometown of New York City in recent years, despite the city being where he first grew his businesses and accumulated fame. He later changed his residency from New York to Florida in 2019.

The Hill has reached out to Trump’s campaign for comment.





Biden administration will expand health care coverage for immigrants under DACA


As many as 100,000 uninsured people could sign up for health coverage.


The Biden administration has finalized plans to expand government-subsidized health insurance for people brought to the country illegally as children but shielded from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Immigrants with DACA status receive protections from deportation but had been formerly barred from receiving health care coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act.

But now, an estimated 100,000 previously uninsured DACA holders can enroll in coverage, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, fulfilling a pledge the White House made last year.


“Dreamers are our neighbors and friends; They are students, teachers, social workers, doctors, and nurses. More importantly, they are fellow Americans,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement on Thursday, referring to the frequent nickname for DACA holders.

“More than one third of DACA recipients currently do not have health insurance, so making them eligible to enroll in coverage will improve their health and wellbeing, and help the overall economy,” Becerra said.

PHOTO: A woman holds a banner during a protest supporting DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, at Foley Square in New York, on Aug. 17, 2021.
Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

DACA holders are currently three times more likely to be uninsured and those who are uninsured are generally less likely to seek out preventative care, Becerra said.



The new policy will take effect in November. Household income and the option to obtain health coverage from an employer will be factors in coverage eligibility, an administration official said.

PHOTO: Participant holds a protest sign at a rally as immigration advocates and allies gathered at Battery Park, New York City, on Oct. 26, 2019.
Erik Mcgregor/LightRocket via Getty Images, FILE

“This final rule also reflects the president’s belief that health care is a right not a privilege for all Americans, that it should extend to DACA recipients just like the rest of us,” White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden told reporters. “This landmark final rule will make DACA recipients eligible for the Affordable Care Act coverage for the first time.”

The Obama-era DACA program, which dates back to 2012, is controversial among conservatives and has long been tied up in legal battles. The Biden administration is seeking to protect it from further legal scrutiny by codifying it into regulatory policy — an ongoing process.

The Biden administration has also faced criticism from some advocates and Democrats for abandoning a potential pathway to citizenship for DACA holders as part of bipartisan Senate negotiations on immigration earlier this year.

Democrats continue to blame Republicans for rejecting that deal despite the long-time objections of many in the GOP to a citizenship pathway for migrants already living in the country after entering illegally.



Michelle Obama’s office says the former first lady ‘will not be running for president’ in 2024


Former First Lady Michelle Obama smiles during the The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in 2023.


WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama has said he’s “all in” for President Joe Biden’s re-election effort. But a question nagging at many Democrats is what role his popular spouse might play.

Democrats nervously looking ahead to November say they want to see Michelle Obama playing a bigger role in the campaign. Some even whisper about the possibility that she might replace a politically hobbled incumbent on the 2024 ticket this summer — making her a fantasy candidate for members of both parties, albeit for different reasons.

Michelle Obama's office squashes talk of a White House bid: 'She will not be running for president' | ConchoValleyHomepage.com

Supporters of Republican front-runner Donald Trump have fixated on the notion of Obama’s swooping in to replace Biden in attempt to diminish the president’s political viability and stoke the GOP base.

In a statement to NBC News, the former first lady’s office tried to rein in imaginations on the right and the left, making it clear her 2024 plans don’t include running for office.

“As former First Lady Michelle Obama has expressed several times over the years, she will not be running for president,” said Crystal Carson, director of communications for her office. “Mrs. Obama supports President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ re-election campaign.”

Sources familiar with the discussions say she intends to assist the Biden campaign this fall, as she did four years ago. But as in 2020, her engagement is likely to be fairly limited compared to that of her husband, reflecting both her other commitments and her long-standing reluctance to re-enter the political fray full time, the sources said.

The expectation of many close to Biden is that, given the former first lady’s star power, the Biden campaign will seek to maximize her limited role later in the campaign, when more swing voters will be paying attention to the race. A senior Biden adviser said there have been early conversations with Obama’s team about campaign engagements and noted that an obvious area of “alignment” with her is her nonpartisan voter registration group, When We All Vote, which aims to promote turnout and close the registration gap among young voters and people of color.

Karl Rove calls Michelle Obama 2024 theories 'pure lunacy' | The Hill

“President and Michelle Obama were enormously helpful in the fight to beat Donald Trump and elect President Biden and Vice President Harris the first time and we are grateful to have their voice and their support in the fight for the fate of our democracy this November,” Biden campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz said in a statement.

An aide to Obama pointed to her discussion last year with Oprah Winfrey to reflect her thinking still today — and why she would most likely never appear on a ballot herself.

“Politics is hard,” she said in the Netflix special. “And the people who get into it … you’ve got to want it. It’s got to be in your soul, because it is so important. It is not in my soul.”

In a 2022 BBC interview, she also said she “detests” questions about running for president.

But in at least one instance, the former first lady appeared not to want the idea of her holding public office ruled out entirely.

Amid speculation about Biden’s potential running mate in the summer of 2020, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota suggested in an interview with Jill Biden: “Maybe former first lady Michelle Obama?”

Michelle Obama Tells Oprah She'll Never, Ever Run for President on Netflix

Jill Biden laughed. “You know, I’d love it if Michelle would agree to it. But I — you know, I think she’s had it with politics. I don’t know. She’s so good at everything she does. That would — that would be wonderful,” she said.

People close to Obama weren’t happy that Jill Biden foreclosed the option and wanted her to give a different answer if she is asked a similar question in the future, according to two people familiar with the matter. An ally of the former first lady called top Biden campaign adviser Anita Dunn, sharing the view that it wasn’t the right response, these people said.

New talking points that Obama’s office proposed would affirm that she would be great at anything she chose to do and say that she was a terrific first lady and that the Biden team is grateful for the work she’s doing at When We All Vote, according to the people familiar with the matter. They said the response was crafted to not make it sound as though Obama would never hold public office, which the former first lady’s aides thought Jill Biden did in her CNN interview.

“It doesn’t close the door,” a person familiar with the drafting of the new statement said, “and that’s what prompted Michelle’s office to call.”

As first and second ladies in the Obama administration, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden forged a close partnership, including in their shared Joining Forces initiative to support military families. They’ve remained friendly, sources close to both women say.


They spent some time alone together last month as they were flying back to Washington from former first lady Rosalynn Carter’s funeral. And last week, Jill Biden also hosted a private screening at the White House of “Rustin,” a film produced by the Obamas’ Higher Ground productions, though Obama didn’t attend.

Among Democrats, especially Democratic donors, Obama’s name continues to come up among those who are worried about Joe Biden’s weak standing in the polls. When special counsel Robert Hur released a scathing report questioning Biden’s frailty, “Michelle Obama” became a trending topic on X.

Republicans have for months alternatively warned and delighted in discussing the prospect of an Obama candidacy.

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said she comes up in discussions with the former president.

“Everyone sees what’s happening with Joe Biden, but only a few Democrats will say it out loud,” Miller said. “Behind the scenes, Democrats across the country are calling for Joe Biden to be replaced, and of course President Trump is going to be asked for his opinion.”

Former GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy raised the notion of an Obama presidential bid no fewer than 20 times during primary campaign appearances, arguing that if he won the nomination, “there’s no way they let Biden run.”

“It’s going to be a new puppet Gavin Newsom, Michelle Obama, you name it,” Ramaswamy said.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, an entire panel discussion was devoted to the possibility of her being “parachuted” in as the Democratic nominee at the convention in her hometown, Chicago.

Fact Check: Michelle Obama's President 2024 Viral Video Is Bogus

The 2020 Democratic National Convention was one of Obama’s key moments in a campaign in which she played a targeted role for her husband’s former running mate in the closing phase of the race. She delivered the closing keynote address on the first night of the convention, calling Biden a “profoundly decent man” and a “terrific vice president” with the empathy to guide the nation forward.

A month before the election, she released an even longer address that the campaign called her “closing argument,” in which she, in very personal terms, blasted Trump for engaging in “racism, fear and division” that threatened to “destroy this nation.”

“We can no longer pretend that we don’t know exactly who and what this president stands for. Search your hearts, and your conscience, and then vote for Joe Biden like your lives depend on it,” she said.

But she never appeared on the campaign trail, as her husband did in a series of solo campaign appearances, as well as joint events with Biden in Michigan the weekend before Election Day.

At the time, her advisers cited her role leading When We All Vote, a group that now says it is “gearing up for our biggest election cycle yet in 2024.”

Still, nothing she has done or said has stopped the speculation, or the fantasizing, about a 2024 candidacy.

After having voted for “uncommitted” in last week’s Michigan Democratic primary, Carol Reynoso was asked whom she might write in if she could select an alternative candidate.

“Michelle Obama would be phenomenal. But she’s too smart to do this,” she said.

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