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Barack Obama Mocks Trump’s False Election Claims: ‘I Lost an Election… It Didn’t Feel Good, but I Didn’t Say No’

”We used to have arguments about policy but now people just make stuff up,“ the former president said

Barack Obama mocked Donald Trump’s false election claims Sunday, noting that he too lost an election, and although it “didn’t feel good,” he didn’t “make stuff up.”

“We used to have arguments about policy, but now people just make stuff up: ‘I didn’t lose,'” the former President said at the L’ATTITUDE Conference in San Diego, California, hinting that he was referring to Trump (and a sizeable amount of Republicans). “I lost an election — only one — it didn’t feel good, but I didn’t say ‘no.'”

Obama’s comments follow his discussion of misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine, noting that “if you were getting information from your phone, you would think all kinds of stuff was happening,” including the baseless suspicion that microchips were being planted in people or that men would experience erectile dysfunction.

To further demonstrate his point, Obama pointed out NBA Hall of Famer from the San Antonio Spurs Manu Ginóbili in the San Diego audience and explained that when his team lost to the Miami Heat, the player did not claim that the opposing team didn’t make that shot or that the referees were cheating.

“Instead what he did was they went back, worked harder and kicked some butt the next year,” Obama explained. “The point is, in sports, we don’t do that. And yet somehow in every other aspect of life, basic rules, basic truths, facts are just contested and we just pretend we like whatever our opinions are, that must be true. Whatever we’re feeling suddenly becomes a fact.”

For Obama, social media can facilitate this misinformation as parts of the industry, “[pump] out nonsense, and often times mean-spirited, nasty nonsense that has an agenda behind it,” that frequently goes unquestioned and is accepted as truth. The former President went further to say misinformation breaks down trust, which he calls the “glue that makes any society work, and certainly any democracy work.”

“I’m spending a lot of time right now trying to figure out how do we reexamine our media ecosystem,” he said. “So that basic fact-checking, basic honesty in reporting the distinction between facts and opinion, all that stuff is reflected in what we consume and we as consumers are going to have to be better,” he said, adding that the Latino and African American communities are being targeted for misinformation.

During the discussion, which happened on the last day of the conference, Obama also called for a “culture shift” within the Republican party that would be necessary to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

“Unless we’re able to return to a more inclusive vision inside the Republican Party, it’s going to be hard to get a bill up,” he said. “It’s going to take a shift in mindset and culture shift inside the Republican Party,” he said, adding that the “formula is always going to be ‘let’s have a legal, smart, thoughtful way of strengthening our country with immigrants. who are eager to contribute to our country.'”