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“Barack Obama on 2020.”


Former President Barack Obama joins Jon F. and Tommy to talk about the stakes of the 2020 election up and down the ballot, make his case for Joe Biden and share his vision for creating lasting progressive change in 2021 and beyond.

For a transcript of this episode, please visit https://crooked.com/podcast/barack-obama-on-2020/.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Are you the I'm talking to you election day is November? Third, which is the last possible data cast your ballot in the most important election of our lifetime? Do you have a plan to vote if not go to vote, save America dot com, slash the state you live in. So if you live in Massachusetts and voting Erica! Dotcom, slash! Massachusetts is Rhode. Island Rhode Island is one word if you need some help jogging, your memory for where you live, gotta votes of Amerika COM, Slash States- to make sure you know your voting options and then cast your ballot honour before of ember. Third, let's do this, let's win day your ass to the polls, the presenting sponsor of positive met is zip recruiter in these times when things have become more unclear since the first presidential debate, one thing is still certain: when it comes to hiring zip recruiter makes the whole process faster and easier. And right now you can try it for free, zip, accoutred dot comes life, crooked
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they free is a great offer once again that zipper gardener dot com, slash crooked? welcome Neponset America, I'm John Favour. I'm Tommy these or we have a very special episode of Pod- save America today, Barack Obama's here I thought you say, beats yes, yes, are we just did interview with Morocco by ideas on the brain John, I was really That was like a throw lack five minutes. He has lost
to say he talked about sort of his pitched too undecided. Voters talked about Joe Biden working with Is foreign policy has characterised foreign policy? We talked about what it's like to wake up and see the present. You know it states tweeting, that the attorney general should indict you if that's weird out yeah, stating that that was an interesting answer. He talked a lot about Fox NEWS and the right wing media infrastructure talked about what it's like governing with this kind of republican Party in and how Joe Biden can deal with this kind of republican party. if he is in fact elected and why you need a vote by the way, I'm hoping we have some new listen to their. So if you need any information about where you need to vote the issues on your ballot simple ballot, good votes of America Dotcom, we got you covered figure plugin when and Barack Obama reminded US
this is the end of the internet. Go fill out your sentence because it was just a horrible Supreme court decision where the where they stopped counting the census and Obama wants you all to fill out your senses. So that's directly from him. Now you got to do it. Sorry. All right here is our, view with Barack Obama on today show the forty fourth president of the United States, are former boss responsible for hiring the two of us. Barack Obama
still still questioning their decision will go back to the pod. It's gonna be bad guys, we're grub beg. You were trying to you. Do you do so. You know unfairly, confident that Party America listeners know who they are voting for at this point, but we have about three hundred thousand volunteers. Were phone banking text. Banking everyday lot of appalling shows that the people who are still deciding who devote foreign, especially whether devoted all tend to not have a college degree tend to be younger. They tend to be voters of color this cycle. They tend to be younger black and latino men. Specifically, these voters generally have a negative view of trump, but they pay less attention to the news and are less like we too believe that voting will actually make a difference. What is your pitch to these voters? War must take some examples just from this year right when we know that covered nineteen disproportionately affects minors,
so those borders you just described, they ve got a member. the family, who may have been killed by poverty or disabled by common or laid off as a consequence, and whatever you think about whether the federal government can help on the major issues lights seven racism. One thing we know is that just basic competence can I not saving lives? And so one thing I would say to anybody: sceptical about what government can do generally is to just take the example of one. we were ass. You might not have been happy with everything. I did all my policy choices. I didn't eliminate poverty in a manner
but when we had a pandemic or the throat pandemic, we had come people in place who would deal with and that's an example of the kind of thing that government can do and we see it and that I think, is important for those who are concerned about, The criminal justice system is, as you guys know what talk about this a lot. I am hugely proud of the demonstrations in and activism that young people have displayed And a lot of those folks may be sceptical about what the government can do. Some of the have frustrated about my failure to have completely transformed the criminal justice systems.
Eliminate Rachel buys part of that is because ninety percent of criminal sensing typically is taking place at the state rather than the federal level, so the federal government. a power. But the truth of the matter is that when I, when I was in office Eric holder, said to you, ass attorneys. We're not going judge you on getting the maximum sense. Every single tat he changed. criteria so that the federal government in cases that were involving drug cases, for example, wasn't drawn the book it falls and try to maximize the number you're going to prison that may not eliminate mass incarceration, but it does change the lives of potentially thousands tens about hundreds thousands of people
us initiating concentric rings in a place like Ferguson, so that they can make a move in terms of how their police department works. Without first clearing up with civil rights tries to make sure that reinforcing buys. That makes a difference the one things that I've been emphasising as the degree to which its not just the presidential candidates there on the ticket you ve got district Penn and attorneys who are going to be responsible for whether or not police misconduct is charged and departments How come you ve got mayors raises in which the mayor, deciding police chief is and what the contractors with police you saw. On every issue that young people in particular care. Let's once again,. was stipulate that
governments either solve every problem overnight, but you know what it can make it better and better. means life saved better me, Since the arable, less polluting. you're better means. Maybe some people don't get charged for crimes that they should be charged for. Some people don't get shot. that's worth fighting for, and the idea that you'd give away your power because you're not getting to say when you could get thirty percent forty percent, fifty percent better. That doesn't make any sense in and that I think it is the most important thing that I I focus on one time. Young people in particular don't know, don't let the best be the enemy of the good. This situation, there are constraints in our system. a well meaning president can solve everything, but they can make some things
and just like before will correct let's get why more people, health insurance and then pre existing provisions, conditions and everybody been under twenty six been able to be on the parents plan We still have millions of people without health insurance, but for those twenty million or those people with pre existing conditions who had tried to get insurance. That was that was a lifeline. How does a wife, saver and and- and you can spend You can spend fifteen minutes half an hour voting to do there get quick plug. If you devoted America COM, you can find your sample ballot. You can see all those down ballot, races that are critical of your California. You could see bout initiatives to check it out, votes if America dot com shameless plug. Mr President, presidents have the most discretion when it comes to foreign policy, but those issues rarely get alot of attack.
and during the campaign, voters may have heard that you, Joe Biden, supported the war in Iraq back in the day, but not a lot else about him. You spent countless hours with Vice President Biden talking about national security. What did you learn about? How he thinks about diplomacy and counter terrorism and in the use of military force that others would not have seen both a couple of eggs? What one- and I think this is most Form is what, when people ask me, what surprised me most about the presidency you're. What I always Tom is. I was I understood, but didn't fully appreciate the degree to which we cannot under underwrite the international order, in the sense that even I enemies can expect us to behave like adults on the international stage If there is a crisis somewhere, people don't call. Moscow or Beijing. They call us and say what one we're gonna do to help.
If there is a ethnic cleansing. If there is a conflict, if there is a natural disaster and the reason. You can serve him in that role. Even if we're not perfect is that we have the infrastructure, we have experienced diplomats, we have the institutional traditions, that allow us to show leadership on the international stage, whether in the Paris peace accords, whether its On Mean Rondell, you name and the thing there open last four years: it's not as if Trump has been all that active internationally I mean the truth, is he doesn't have the patience and and the focus to really substantially changed a lot of us foreign policy? What he's done is he
We driver decimate our entire foreign policy infrastructure, and I think I know about Joe is that he respects people whom no history and have expertise and he's gone. pay attention to somebody who worked in Africa to find out like how should I deal with a particular prices there, as opposed to calling it a bunch of. I won't say the word countries wrap your yes. Yes, I respect and understanding for one american leadership, candid and take the example of human rights, because I've just been writing about us any. U S, president went one became. President wanderings, I discovered coming and offices
you are in charge of this big apparatus. You got all these legacy systems. You got that God, you got intelligence community, a bunch of choices the made, some of which you don't necessarily agree with It's an ocean lighter, not a speedboats or you trucks trying to change policy. Is really never right, but even in those circumstances where you have to balance? U S, interests versus human rights interest for to go around and just talk about human rights for me to meet with a dictator, yes, I may have to deal with them, because we ve got other interests at stake, but for me to bring up any beating you locking up journalists or you miss Terry, this minority ethnic groups- is something
the United States subject to that that gives them pass it. It if in some cases may talk about in a way that you create more space for human rights activists, are freedom of beach or environmental activism and something. I know Joe cares about the other thing. I think that's what important dimension job having, your rapporteur for the work. He learned a lesson from it, and, as you know, he was problem. the person who was most restrained in terms of use of military force.
among my sea or advisers. During the course of my presidency, the EPA consistently believed that we should show restraint and humility and think through the use of military power and had huge confidence and faith in the use of diplomacy as a strategy for Europe american leadership and that instinct, I think, is going to trickle on partly because he's going to have to rebuild a state department that wear some of the best people have been driven out systematically because they weren't willing to toe from ideological agenda right. So the two of you became really close over the eight years that you starve together. Do you an anecdote about Joe Biden that most people don't know tells a story about what kind of a person or leader here
You know what I think, that's the thing that I always wore when I think about Joe. I always think about the fact that. This is not a particular area of this more just data day interactions. He was always the guy in every meeting who asked this help and regular folks you're the whole aspect to him about scram and get on track and talk about combating terrorism and no other names and don't want under spend as much time as possible with borders and and then disappear. Mother lies an idea,
a fine with the ordinary day struggles of the american people. That's not a state and no that's who he is now That's part of the reason why he was always late. Because if you got a it, pretty good about work and a rope ladder is all about me being illusions that you guys were there like: I'd, love, grandma's and kissing. Babies Take my time and robots and if you I will campaign, but it really given our by a lot of attention. we'll be back. He was third when he was still telling a story listenin to somebody and and heart is who he is, and that's why the plans when you're thinking about the presidency, it's great.
Turned to look at policy an end to their. What where there ten point plants are better than the other. but a lot of it is what's their basic character. Are the people who instinctively care about the underdog? Are they people who? are able to see the world through somebody else's eyes and stand in their shoes are people who are instinctively generous and spirits right and that is who joins Europe. I've never seen him and you don't look when you run for president pretty much every all your flaws or export, Once you present better brilliant spoke.
but you know you don't hear stories about Joe been just mean something right: people may never all from other forever. Stop where you belong here, Joe being disloyal to somebody or miss, treating them were being stand office in pushing them away when you were asking for help- and that is the thing him that I think, should give people a lot of confidence that, along with the fact that he understands the importance of surrounding himself with people who are smart and are you believe in science and leave and expertise and believe in institutional. knowledge and experience and in So you get that combination. It means that you're here nor STAR will be good, but it
same time. You'll have a lot of people rather were able to translate his good instincts in actual I'll the works pots America brought you by magic spoon, Tommy how's, your magic spoon dream you. So I keep doing this thing where I eat my spoon too fast and then the matter spoon for the rest of the month is the motley shipment of Miss Boon. So I've had it in a while. I'm kind of sad talk about MAGIC Tommy makes that cereal disappear. Thank you like I do. I'm just going to drive by our house em and leave. like throw boxes, having just throw box that you, because my monthly subscription is keeping my area of cereal. Hey you know what I mean. I can't walk in the hallway without tripping over boxes of magic spoon. Cereal rain me love it. The listen,
We ve all heard you brag about your surplus magic spoon and how you offer to give us one. Maybe gaily oars, put up her shut up power, I'm sitting here, no spoon. What did it just become spoon just now I certainly Ivan refreshing their magic spoon website until that peanut butter came back in stock and when they did I hit by harder than than Anthony vouches voting for Joe Biden dented table every Fiji and his via was assist wives in what you know is in a plus fucking marriage voting for Joe Biden at the kitchen table so hard. It puts a hole in the kitchen table, you know it. You just know it and there because they are very health conscious. They are eating magic spoon, zero grams of sugar, eleven grams of protein, only three neck grams of carbs, each serving for flavors, cocoa, Ferdy, frosted, blueberry, and then you got.
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this kind of language. The DC has become the press corps has become. Is it weird for you when he tweets that you should be indicted war war, as you said that this is something the even is his fellow republicans tender just pretend doesn't and didn't really really general retreat cutter dots. where's when there asked about it. The allegations are so absurd that even republican control committees looking into it, had dismissed them and the attorney general bar dismiss them, but this is
example, I think- of a larger problem while two to larger problems which don't, get as much attention. Understandably, when you got high unemployment and a pandemic raging, because it doesn't have people's day to lives but what one of the central bank patients stones, obey democracy is the idea that you do not. You do not allow the political integration of the criminal justice system, the intelligent system, the military right that that bad stuff that you keep out of politics breakers. It's too dangerous you don't want. You can have a democracy in which political opponents are subject to this kind of inflammatory language. Now he did the same thing with herein lies
we're up theme, and so I am not surprised that it continues. I am disappointed that Republicans who know better have not checked him on this and I think a very important question. for the election, even if it goes well with Joe Biden is. whether you start seeing the republican party restore some sense here, norms that we can bridge because he's breached all of them and they have not said to him. This is too far. so that brings me then, to the second issue, and that is the whole information Social. media media infrastructure, the conservative media infrastructure
We ve got this conversation before It is a problem that has gone into outlast. Trot drop is a mother and an accelerate to it, but he did not create. We saw when during my campaign backing away- and we saw Are you guys have to deal with the driveway during our administration, It has got turbocharging because of social. and because the head of government are our federal government s? order to it. But when you look at it in conspiracy theories, like you, none seeping into the mainstream of the Republican Party what that tells you is. There
there- are no more guard rails within that media ecosystem and an eye One of the biggest challenges- all of us that this is not just progressive versus right wing issue. This is really a genuine american society issue, Is- is how do we re? establish some baselines truth that at least the vast majority of people can regions and that we can have a whole bunch of debates about. Climate change is real, but in our report, We just have to adapt because we can give up. Are you Carson you're progressive, say no. We we should use these alternative, We can have that debate
for strong views about it. But if you say jeez oaks them there's nothing we can do. The same is true with common young. If you, You say. Yes, it is a genuine, really big problem a serious disease here's the science we can agree to that and then, Yeah we have covered. I swim, decides whether we think we're gonna try to approach this through our immunity. There are some coherence to their argument. Disagree with it, I don't think it is proven out, but were within the same reality in our debates, we to find ways to do that. I dont have a quick answer for that because What happens within when
get these echo chambers. Is they become impenetrable right any any bit of information that contradicts, the world view in the conspiracies within it. The conspiracy theories within it gets rejected as parliament, conspiracy and part of a liberal plot. But I do, but I do think that that's gonna be a big challenge that we all have an I'm concerned about what it goes to governing too. I mean. Can you know this from your time in office, majority of voters want leaders who will bring the country together, try to work together and by partisan way. They also want leaders who will end the gridlock in Washington and actually get something done on the big issues. How do you governing away that's both by partisan and productive when the only way to break the gridlock with this version of the Republican Party is through huge democratic majorities, getting rid of the filibuster other big step?
trawler forms, all of which will be seen by Republicans and much of the media as extremely partisan. As you know, this is the low even further than we had really big majority behind the philosopher and Mitch Morale the magic reminded throw salmon. The gears no matter how much outreach we may. As long They Republicans could maintain. Unit in Macao was very explicit about, as he said, here's what they want is laws. We can keep report off alarmist bills, even when it there their proposals. Used to be recalled him proposals, then can rob them up. The veneer A and that all relation placed worthy trail he was very systematic and strategic about it what I am concluding, this is then the answer
is to check some of these structural impediments to just getting stuff that I mentioned it down those who serve you. My belief that I think we should test it. I think we should give Republicans a chance to work with us or a reasonable issues. I don't think we should be maximum list and asked for a hundred percent of what we want all the time, but I think that if you continue to see the kind of systematic rejection even reasonable compromise there. There comes a point at which you just have to change how the system works. The filibuster would be one I would argue that around voting going ahead and just making it easier for people to both making it harder to suppress the boat is not part of. It is
an expression of our democracy. It will be portrayed as partisan. But that's an argument. I think we have the wrong. I think we have to go ahead and had then what You have one major party, perhaps the only major party that I know of in any dance democracy in world who exposed He says we're trying to keep fellow citizens, certain fellow citizens from bottom and work. Try you meant as far as possible, The far right in Europe does not say they don't say, stop other Oscar, and from voting. Let's stop other Germans from voting, This is unique, to us and it's a legacy of the young.
Racial discrimination and gender discrimination, and then it was imbedded in our initial constitution and had to be fixed through a series of amendments and and so I think that we should welcome the argument that making it easier for people to work eliminating the last vestiges of Jim Crow and pull taxes, and all that stuff is not upon his mission. And anyone who argues against that is behind in a partisan fashion, and I think we can win that argument with the majority of the american people, eat your less answers or gets this ongoing four years later debate about whether up is an aberration or whether he is sort of the next phase of Europe,
looking party that has been built on racial grievances in built on cruelty to immigrants and Fox NEWS conspiracy theories, and it's a bit of an esoteric like Washington debate. Answer also shapes how Joe Biden or any Democrat should approach the job. because you know we all hoped that the republican fever would break after the twenties while real acted in. Clearly it didn't things have gotten worse. Do you have a view on this sort of debate about whether Trump is is an aberration?. You know what you use the word I think about it. I would distinguish between people who vote Republican and the Republican Party and republican media infrastructure and what I mean by that is this- I am you guys have heard me say this before
you're not when I was elected to the USA, I got About seventy percent of the vote in Illinois, I got the majority of the vote in Southern Illinois, which is much closer culturally to Kentucky or Southern Indiana Southern Ohio that it is Chicago. Did well in a bunch of white evangelical counties. Rural carries I think is further say, there's no way right now, but I could get those boats right I went back to those same places The reason is because they see me only through the Filter Fox NEWS rush in Lord knows: what's going on and Facebook itself right
but when you got those folks one on one and they had a chance to major and talk to you- and you were the veterans- Europe appear, hospital were A fish right, you gonna conversation with them, they might, Agree with your want to stop, but they thought what the EU seems like an ok, I'm not scared of him. Even if I disagree with and Those folks right now are just being fed what's coming through that filter. I do not think that that is an ever. I think if they were watching Walter. Cronkite were they were reading there. What used to be the local paper that was put out by some cranky, regarding about time,
Lastly, a buzz cut it off, but was lying learned guy, we're not gonna serious business. Certain service- that's where they were getting their information from, I think be, then you could in fact have The normal debates between a more conservative anymore level, America and it in that circumstance, democracy works. So So the answer I guess Tommy is, I think the trumpet is expressing or or or mirroring and in some ways explicitly exploited and took the crazy that was being pump out through these venues each and every day and
If that stop is still being pumped out and from those away somewhere else, war meet that market demand, but on the other hand, do I think that that is inevitably moved. What the Republican Party has to be. No, I don't, I don't think it does. It was Fascinating is thus the book as this looking through some of the old stuff about trot was really complimentary before, like the first two years, So let us see my doing a great job in thinking here. Then an essentially what happened, because the guy just decided you wanted attention, whether was to promote celebrity apprentice. whenever he saw he looked up and saw what was being fed and at all events. It. If that's what you want, I can do that Will even less innovation, so
would even less of it It always was going to say is that not all barbarism shake came about. Our country has always had this battle right between these darker impulses to exclude to dominate, to to the game in favour of certain folks and not others, and then the other side of it has been to expand and and embrace the dignity and inherent worth of every individual, regardless of what they look like Europe or or where they come from. And that tug of war is always going to be there and we as Democrats, have to remind ourselves that, for me,
the twentieth century. The Democrats were as bad or worse by the south was Democrat. Dixon amounts were the ones who are run filibusters to prevent anti lynching legislation, etc. And Lincoln was there were Bob, so bright source the issue has less to do with it is one you're, the other inevitably like this one, where it has much more to do with this ongoing tug of war between the better angels for nature and that our worst impulses and and- and I have confidence that we can. We can get back to a point where both parties have in those better agents, but
I do think that we're going to have to figure out how to get to voters what are the workarounds that they just penetrate that the twenty four slash, seven narrative that is being pumped out by folks like a Fox news and others, hardly America is brought you by just egg, can a plant scramble. an egg spoiler alone. The answer is yes:
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I think, moved into that mindset in a week. Let's get through the next three weeks in them next three months and then, let's bigger up what our internal debates are. Gonna be So point number one point number two is bad it is very important for progress is to continue to press. Their agenda, because they're gonna be. other forces that are pressing on the White House from the other direction, and that's all that's always the case- that's always and there's nothing wrong with making noise about and there's nothing wrong with holding folks to account. I think
The the caution I always have for progressive is me I am sure that, as you push for the most, you can get. Then, at a certain point you say I dunno what let's get this done and then what's been move on to find another day and healthier always being the best example of this. As you will recall, we wanted a publication in the affordable, correct. We push. I needed sixty votes to get through this. Jointly, remember Nelson? A couple other said: I'm not voting for at that point, then Russia is now to be able to say, ok, let's take what we can get now and then let's build and every bit of progressive Legislation all
progress throughout our history. Typically, in stages, ready you get a pitcher like social security passes but it excludes all kinds of domestic workers and their cultural workers, because southern voters- earth southern congressmen didn't wanna, My folks be able to get social scourge, because then they wouldn't be subject to the whims of white employed and. Should we should have the are not pass? Also security enforcement? He gets it done and then you fight back next battle, which is to include more people. The dog We passed our friend Did we eliminate breathing malfeasance in Wall Street entirely no what we did was we put in a bunch.
the current rules to make it less likely that you end up having bailouts in the future Part of the reason that we haven't seen the financial system teeter during this major economic shock. where's, because those girls that we put in place, but we still have move, a whole bunch other stuff that we were unable to get done at the time, and I think understanding that there is not a failure, but that is just the process you push. Use consolidate. You push the more you consolidate and and also understand this. Maybe this is where Sometimes I differ with Bernie. Anyone Lisbon in in are in how we talk about the stuff publicly.
Most of the time when I didn't get something progressive done. While I was president, it wasn't because I was getting donations from some special interest or corporation. It wasn't because you know they're bunch of PS, whispering in my ear. It was because I didn't I didn't have pulse and I think sometimes we we a tribute. the failure of a democratic, more progressive president, not getting something done to somehow he and hopefully at some point. She is being influenced by these other folks when in fact it's just that we do not yet have the votes and the club so progressive you
if you want progressive legislation, get other and keep working after the president is what I don't want cart before the horse bite you. Know how, I would be well progressive feeling frustrated What then sit out the midterms. Now I have fewer granted. But now I lost the house, not lost the Senate. That is not the right reaction, but we get more progressive website than the word Democrats. We haven't comes down more democratic turner. Patents in Ghana I won't lose track of is because right now he does it what's right in front of us, but a suit If we are fortunate enough, the job I'm in Commentators are elected
maintain the housing, and hopefully we regain the centre one of the very first things we have to do, is to get every person who is as fired up as they were about this election to understand. midterms are gonna matter just as much yet because that's that's the constraint ultimately bad, you know we all come from throughout. This process was When I look back on, my presidency did the, real envelope to limit to what I could get down had to do. How many votes did I have in the house? How many books do I have in the Senate? Obviously, if they're modifications, the filibuster that makes it easier, but but even within the Democratic Party there we have to accommodate for the fact There can be some regional differences and that's ok, that's part of the big ten as part of the process that we move forward.
Democracies in everyday struggle- that's it you're, always taught me, that's it. Man regarding you have to note that things not self executed. Speaking of which I am assuming you guys applying the fact that we had a Supreme court ruling around the census, there was adverse to us. The Trump administration is purposely trend has decided to cut off. The census earlier than it should have been if anything should be extended because of covered but it is what it is you guys are pointing the need for
everybody who has not responded to the senses, to get your information in their that's part of this structural set of issues. Senses determines how much representation communities get a lot of decisions are made based on those numbers, and we got to make sure that everybody's cannibal easy to do quick to do noakes he's not to do it. President Barack Obama. Thank you so much for coming back to pod, save America and good luck out there in the campaign trail Grigg hanging out with you guys, oarsmen procedure, they argue thicker pod save America is a crooked media production. The executive producer is Michael Martinez. Our associate producer is Jordan Waller its mixed in edited by do Chadwick. Kyle segment is our sound engineer.
to so many Katy Long, roman puppet, Dimitrios Quinn, Louis Brain cells, Caroline resting and Gutierrez for production support into our digital team, Elijah Cone, Normal Conan, Yell Freed, and my look him film and upload. These it's as videos every week.
Transcript generated on 2020-10-16.