The majority of U.S. citizens think former President Barack Obama did a good job, but that might not stop President Donald Trump from ripping into the work of his predecessor Tuesday evening in his first major speech in office.
A list of talking points distributed to the press ahead of the speech noted that Trump will talk about "saving American families from the disaster of Obamacare." The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was a landmark piece of legislation for the former president. While it certainly has had its critics, a recent Politico/Morning Consult poll found 45 percent of Americans approved of the law while 45 percent disapproved. A survey this week, meanwhile, found about two-thirds of Americans hoped at least part of the ACA survived the new administration.
Obama finished his presidency with some 60 percent of the country approving of his job performance, a high rating for an outgoing president. His predecessor George W. Bush, for instance, left office with some 60 percent of the country disapproving of his job performance.
Trump, however, has made it a point to say that Obama left him a country in crisis. "To be honest, I inherited a mess," Trump said, in a press conference this month. "It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country."
The president re-upped that talking point in an interview previewing Tuesday's speech with Breitbart News, the far-right outlet formerly led by Trump's right-hand man Steve Bannon.
"We'll be talking about many different subjects — and as much in a up-tone is the fact that I inherited a mess," Trump said to Breitbart. "It's a mess, whether it's the Middle East or it's Obamacare — where costs are out of control — or it's so many other things. I mean, things are much different than people thought, and people get it. We're going to fix it. The important part is we’re going to fix it."
While Trump was likely to rip into Obama during his speech Tuesday, many others have moved to praise the job performance of the former president. A panel of historians surveyed by C-SPAN pegged him at No. 12 on a list this month of the best presidents ever, an unusually high ranking for a president who just left office.
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