One person who’d heard the remarks paraphrased them for CNN: Obama said “the Affordable Care Act has never been more popular ― and it’s more popular than the current president.” The remarks were made at a private event hosted by A+E Networks.
Kevin Lewis, an Obama spokesman, declined to comment. The former president had previously said he would try to refrain from criticizing Trump, but would speak out when America’s “core values” were at stake.
Obama’s comparison is supported by polling. Forty-nine percent of Americans favor the Affordable Care Act, while 40.9 percent oppose it, according to HuffPost Pollster’s aggregation of public surveys. But only 44 percent of Americans approve of the job Trump is doing, while 51.9 percent disapprove.
Trump has dismissed his poor poll numbers as “fake news.”
Obama also predicted that Republicans would have a difficult time repealing his signature health care law. An effort to do just that failed last month.
It’s not the first time Obama has weighed in on Trump. In late January, as Americans protested Trump’s travel ban, Obama said he was “heartened” by the levels of public engagement.