In his press conference on Nov. 14, President Obama offered a few subtle warnings to President-elect Donald Trump.
“This office has a way of waking you up,” Obama told the White House press corps, as quoted by the Daily Mail. “And aspects of his positions or predisposition that don't match up with reality, he will find shaken up pretty quick. Because reality has a way of asserting itself.”
The president was most direct when speaking of Trump’s famously impulsive personality.
“I think what will happen with the President-elect is there are going to be certain elements of his temperament that will not serve him well unless he recognizes them and corrects them,” Obama said. “Because when you're a candidate and you say something that is inaccurate or controversial, it has less impact than it does when you're President of the United States. Everybody around the world is paying attention. Markets move. National security issues require a level of precision in order to make sure that you don't make mistakes.”
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Obama also indirectly commented on the protests against Trump that have been taking place across America. “Look, the people have spoken,” he said. “Donald Trump will be the next President, the 45th President of the United States…. And those who didn’t vote for him have to recognize that that's how democracy works. That's how this system operates.”
He went on to compare the transition of power to his own experience coming into office eight years ago. “When I won, there were a number of people who didn’t like me and didn’t like what I stood for. And I think that whenever you've got an incoming President of the other side, particularly in a bitter election like this, it takes a while for people to reconcile themselves with that new reality. Hopefully it's a reminder that elections matter and voting counts.”
However, he did admit that he and the protesters share some of the same worries regarding the policies that Trump might implement, but pointed out that implementing policies is easier said than done.
“Do I have concerns? Absolutely. Of course, I’ve got concerns. He and I differ on a whole bunch of issues. But the federal government and our democracy is not a speedboat, it’s an ocean liner -- as I discovered when I came into office. It took a lot of really hard work for us to make significant policy changes -- even in our first two years, when we had larger majorities than Mr. Trump will enjoy when he comes into office.”
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As an example, he used Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act -- better known as Obamacare. “Now, it's one thing to characterize this thing as not working when it's just an abstraction,” referring to the health care law that bears his name. “Now, suddenly, you're in charge and you're going to repeal it. Okay, well, what happens to those 20 million people who have health insurance? Are you going to just kick them off and suddenly they don’t have health insurance?”
But he tempered that warning with a conciliatory remark, saying that if Trump can “come up with something better that actually works…I'll be the first one to say, that's great -- congratulations.”