Obama confident Europe will come up with prudent post-Brexit plan

‘I expect that our friends on both sides of the Channel will develop a workable plan for how to move forward,’ Obama said. (Reuters)

US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he is confident Europeans will come up with a prudent plan to move forward after Britain's vote last week to leave the European Union.

“Despite some of the initial reactions, I am confident that the process can be managed in a prudent, orderly way. I expect that our friends on both sides of the Channel will develop a workable plan for how to move forward,” Obama said in a speech to the Canadian Parliament.

‘rhetoric is xenophobic, not populist’

Obama is tired of hearing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump described as a populist.

The Democratic leader, who has made no secret of his dislike for the wealthy businessman’s rhetoric, closed a news conference in Canada on Wednesday with a long riff on what makes a leader qualified for the “populist” mantra.

Trump did not meet the criteria, Obama said, without mentioning the Republican by name.

“Somebody ... who has never shown any regard for workers, has never fought on behalf of social justice issues or making sure that poor kids are getting a decent shot at life or have health care,” does not meet the definition, Obama said.

“They don’t suddenly become a populist because they say something controversial in order to win votes. That’s not the measure of populism. That’s nativism, or xenophobia. Or worse. Or it’s just cynicism,” he said.

Trump won enough grassroots support among Republicans to make him the party’s presumptive presidential nominee with a pledge to ban Muslims temporarily from entering the United States and to build a wall on the US border with Mexico, and a series of other inflammatory remarks.

Obama has sharply criticized Trump for such rhetoric.

He plans to campaign with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, next week. The president’s latest criticism of Trump could foreshadow Obama’s strategy to help Clinton on the campaign trail.

He made a point of saying US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Clinton’s opponent in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, genuinely deserved the title of populist.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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