WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump attacked former President Barack Obama on Wednesday, criticizing him for the message he delivered at the Democratic National Convention condemning his successor.
Trump appeared to be tuning into Obama's address, tweeting "HE SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN, AND GOT CAUGHT!" as the former president began his speech — a message Joe Biden retweeted, with the addition of a line from Obama's speech that "Donald Trump hasn't grown into the job because he can't."
As the speech continued, Trump again tweeted about his predecessor: "WHY DID HE REFUSE TO ENDORSE SLOW JOE UNTIL IT WAS ALL OVER, AND EVEN THEN WAS VERY LATE? WHY DID HE TRY TO GET HIM NOT TO RUN?"
Excerpts of Obama's speech released earlier Wednesday had showed that he planned to say he had hoped "Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously. But he never did."
Trump took aim at him ahead of those remarks. "When I listen to that and then I see the horror that he's left us, the stupidity of the transactions that he's made — look what we're doing, we have our great border wall, we have security," Trump said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon at the White House.
Trump went on to call Obama "so ineffective, so terrible" and blamed him for the "slowest-growing recovery in the history, I guess since 1929, on the economy."
Obama's convention speech included his harshest criticism of the president to date.
"He's shown no interest in putting in the work, no interest in finding common ground, no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends, no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves," Obama said in remarks closing out the third night of the party's virtual convention.
In response, the Trump campaign again sought to portray a divide between Obama and Biden. "Barack Obama urged Biden not to run for president in 2016 and 2020, preferred Hillary Clinton over his own vice president, questioned Biden's ability to win, and warned others 'don't underestimate Joe's ability to f*ck things up,'" they said in an email to reporters Wednesday night.
During his news conference earlier Wednesday, Trump said that if Obama had done a "good job," he would not be in the Oval Office.
"The reason I'm here is because of President Obama and Joe Biden," the president said. "Because if they did a good job, I wouldn't be here. And probably, if they did a good job, I wouldn't have even run. I would've been very happy."
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"I enjoyed my previous life very much, but they did such a bad job that I stand before you as president," he concluded.