Obama privately told journalists that the GOP was 'ideologically completely incoherent' shortly before leaving office in 2017: Bloomberg

Obama privately told journalists that the GOP was 'ideologically completely incoherent' shortly before leaving office in 2017: Bloomberg
Barack Obama
Then-President Barack Obama speaks during his final presidential news conference at the White House on January 18, 2017.AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File
  • Former President Obama in a private talk with reporters called the GOP "incoherent," per Bloomberg.

  • The conversation was held in January 2017, just days before Donald Trump assumed the presidency.

  • "You don't know what they stand for," Obama also said of the Republican Party, per the report.

President Barack Obama during the waning days of his administration privately told a group of reporters that the Republican Party had become "ideologically completely incoherent," according to a Bloomberg report.

The off-the-record conversation that was held on January 17, 2017 — just three days before Donald Trump would assume the presidency — came to light after the Justice Department released a set of documents connected to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, per Bloomberg.

While speaking with the journalists, Obama — who tussled with many of the more conservative elements of the GOP during his two terms in the White House — said that the party didn't have a defining message.

"You don't know what they stand for," he said, per the report.

"So what's bound them together is opposition to me, opposition to a fantastical creature called the liberal who looks down on them and just feeds all that regional resentment. And there are a handful of issues, like guns, that trigger that sense of 'these folks aren't like us and they don't like us and act like us.' And there's obviously some racial elements that get put out into that stew," he added.

Obama, the first Black American ever elected to the United States presidency, easily defeated then-Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008 and was reelected over former Republican Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts in 2012.

Perhaps the most prominent policy fight that Obama had with Republicans came from the creation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which expanded health care to millions of Americans.

Opposition to the legislation, which was passed by robust Democratic congressional majorities in late 2009 and signed into law in March 2010, was a key driver of the "Tea Party" wave of November 2010 — which resulted in Democrats losing control of the House and a more reduced Senate majority.

House Republicans repeatedly voted to dismantle the law on multiple fronts during Obama's tenure, but the efforts were unsuccessful.

Before and after Obama was elected to the White House, he faced questions about his religion, with some insisting that he was a Muslim. (Obama is a Christian.)

Shortly before the election, during a 2008 campaign stop at a North Carolina barbecue and chicken restaurant, he was met with a chilly reception from some diners, with a woman refusing to shake his hand and another yelling "Socialist" within distance, according to Politico.

In October 2008, McCain corrected a rally attendee's contention that Obama was "an Arab."

"No, ma'am. He's a decent family man [and] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign's all about," the then-senator said at the time, per Politico.

While in the White House, Obama and members of his family — including first lady Michelle Obama — continued to face racist attacks.

Republicans have overwhelmingly insisted that their opposition to Obama was grounded in policy differences and not racial animus.

Read the original article on Business Insider