A new book titled, “Obama: An Oral History,” reveals that former President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign manager and senior advisor David Plouffe said the Obama Administration wanted to raise the profile of Donald Trump so that he would become the "identity" of the Republican Party.
As author Brian Abrams delineates, Plouffe added that raising Trump’s profile was "super helpful" to them. According to Abrams, Plouffe stated:
There was strategy. Lifting up Trump as the identity of the Republican Party was super helpful to us. The president went out in the briefing room to present his long-form birth certificate, [but] really to continue the dance with Trump. Our view was lifting Trump at the White House Correspondents Dinner, you know, as kind of the example of the Obama opposition. There was a strategy behind the material and the amount of time we spent on Trump. Let's really lean into Trump here. That'll be good for us.
Prior to the Correspondents Dinner, Trump had repeatedly slammed Obama's actions as president. Trump had also centered on his belief that Obama was not born in the United States, and publicly called on Obama to release his birth certificate.
At the Correspondents Dinner, Obama joked that there was a vicious rumor that Mitt Romney had created universal health care when governor of Massachusetts. He then taunted Trump, who was in attendance:
Someone should get to the bottom of that, and I know just the guy to do it: Donald Trump, who is here tonight. Now I know he has taken some flak lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the Donald. And that’s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, did we fake the moon landing? What really happened in Roswell? And where are Biggie and Tupac?
All kidding aside, obviously, we all know about your credentials and breathe of experience. For example, no, seriously, just recently, in an episode of "Celebrity Apprentice," at the steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha Steaks, and there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Little John or Meatloaf, you fired Gary Busey.
And these are the kind of decisions that will keep me up at night.
Obama said of Trump in February 2016, “I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president.”
Video of Obama mocking Trump starting at 2:28: