Bob Woodward: British PM Thought Obama Was Too Weak to Deal With Putin, Assad

Vladimir Putin Barack Obama
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September 14, 2018

Author Bob Woodward says former President Barack Obama "wasn't tough enough" on the world stage, adding that former British prime minister David Cameron didn't think Obama had what it took to "operate in the world" of thugs such as Syria's Bashar al-Assad and Russia's Vladimir Putin.

Woodward recounted his conversation with Cameron, Obama's counterpart in Great Britain for much of his administration, during a Friday morning interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt. Woodward remarked that Trump, unlike his predecessor, "made it clear he's going to be tough" with bad actors around the globe such as Iran.

"Trump has made it clear he’s going to be tough," Woodward said in the interview. "If you look back on the Obama presidency, he just wasn’t tough enough."

Woodward backed up his contention about Obama's toughness with the anecdote on Cameron.

"David Cameron, when he was British Prime Minister, I talked to him about Obama, and while Obama was president," Woodward said. "And he said I like him, he’s so smart, but no one’s afraid of him. And you cannot operate in the world of Assad’s and Putin’s and you name the thugs around the world ... you’ve got to be tough with these people."

Hewitt remarked that Woodward's new book Fear, which is highly critical of the Trump administration, could actually turn out to further a strategic advantage for the administration on the foreign stage by making Trump seem "a little bit nuts."

"I want to air drop hundreds of copies in every foreign embassy, because it underscores the madman theory attributed to Nixon, my old boss, and your old adversary, that people around the world have got to think the guy in the White House is a little bit nuts," Hewitt said. "That sets up a strategic advantage. I think Fear underscores you cannot reliably predict what Donald Trump will do, and you’d better not cross him."