NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — Republican pollster Frank Luntz believes President Barack Obama is doing an “FU tour” in his final days in office.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Luntz said the outgoing president has been very critical in some of his remarks lately, especially to Hillary Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“They key point here is this is not really about making it difficult on Donald Trump. If Trump did this great tour of the country, and they called it a victory or a thank you tour, Obama seems to be doing a … FU tour,” Luntz said. “I guess that’s the best way to put it.”
Luntz continued, “What he has said about Hillary Clinton and her campaign and drawing that contrast, what he has done to Israel and to Benjamin Netanyahu, that there are people he has had political difficulties with, and by the way Republican members of the House and Senate, the people who he has disagreed with over the last eight years, he’s gone to great pains to draw a contrast between the things that he says and the things that they have done. In a way, that makes me think he’s trying to settle scores before he leaves, and that’s not presidential, particularly for someone like Barack Obama, who is such a great communicator. I would’ve expected more from him.”
In a recent interview, Obama said that he would’ve won a third term if he was allowed to run again. Luntz told Fox News that these type of comments don’t have any type of effect on the nation because are so divided.
“The people who love Barack Obama will be offended by what I just said, the people who dislike him intensely will think I haven’t gone far enough,” the pollster explained. “There’s no way you can satisfy anyone at this point. All that we are looking for is someone who can bridge that divide, bring people together, and my hope, going forward, is that we will speak a little bit less and listen a little bit more. That we will answer less questions and ask more questions.”
Luntz added that it would have been very hard for Obama to win a third term with the way Americans think the country is going.
“I don’t believe, based on how Americas feel about the country — only 30 percent think the country is heading in the right direction — it’s very hard to win an election when pessimism is that high,” Luntz told Fox News. “That most people feel, 78 percent feel, that we are weaker today, that the world is a more dangerous place today than it was, that they feel less secure today. How do you win an election when three out of four voters think that your foreign policy has essentially failed?”
Trump responded to Obama’s comment last week, tweeting that there was “no way” the president would’ve secured a third term.
“President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me. He should say that but I say NO WAY! – jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc,” Trump tweeted.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Trump dismissed days of tense remarks by the outgoing and incoming presidents about who would win if they were to hypothetically run against each other, saying he and Obama had “a very, very good talk.”
“We talked about it and smiled about it and nobody is ever going to know because we are never going to be going against each other,” Trump said.
Earlier, he had accused Obama of throwing up “inflammatory” roadblocks during the transition of power and said his administration was treating Israel with “total disdain.”
“Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks,” Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition — NOT!”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Obama phoned Trump. “Today’s call, like the others since the election, was positive and focused on continuing a smooth and effective transition,” Schultz said. “The president and president-elect committed to staying in touch over the next several weeks.”
Trump also took direct issue with the Obama administration’s decision to let a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel pass.
“We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect,” he said in a two-part tweet. “They used to have a great friend in the U.S., but … not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!”
Trump later told reporters that Israel is being treated “very, very unfairly,” maintaining that countries that are “horrible places” never get reprimanded. He refused to directly answer a question about whether Israel should stop building settlements, saying he is “very, very strong on Israel.”
The president-elect’s comments about Israel came a few hours after John Kerry made his final speech about Mideast peace as secretary of state. Kerry criticized Israel for settlement-building and accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy.
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