Ken Langone, co-founder of the home improvement retail chain Home Depot, joined Fox News host Neil Cavuto for an in-studio interview on Wednesday, and he had a rather pointed message for former President Barack Obama.
Cavuto and Langone discussed a number of issues during the conversation that included President Donald Trump’s election, the still ongoing special counsel investigation of Robert Mueller and the recent remarks made against Trump by Obama, who has re-emerged on the political scene to help his fellow Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.
Speaking about the current state of the economy, Cavuto mentioned that Obama had tried to claim credit for the good economic news, saying it was because of his policies, not the opposite policies put in place by Trump over the past two years.
With a dismissive wave of the hand, Langone said, “Forget about it. Obama ought to do what every other great president did, go off into the sunset … be the mother of the groom, wear beige and keep your mouth shut.”
In other words, keep quiet and allow Trump to do the job he was elected to do — for good or for bad — as former President George W. Bush did toward his successor, Obama, and as virtually every other president in this nation’s history has done.
Indeed, it has long been a tradition for former presidents to refrain from attacking or openly criticizing their successors, and for all of the talk about how Trump is breaking all of the “norms” of the prestigious executive office, few have mentioned the “norms” that have been violated by Obama.
“What I’m saying is that, like it or not, Trump’s base is rock-solid,” Langone said. “Donald Trump needs 15 percent of the voters to get re-elected in 2020. That 35 percent and everybody knows it is rock-solid.
“I would hope he would do things different than he does, but damn it, give the guy credit.”
He went on to mention the extraordinary progress that has been seen thus far via improved relations with North Korea, which didn’t display any missiles during a recent military parade, released Americans held hostage and returned the remains of U.S. soldiers killed during the Korean War.
Langone proceeded to suggest that it really didn’t matter if the media treated Trump fairly because Trump most likely didn’t care what the media had to say about him, as he knew what was true and what wasn’t.
“We live in the greatest country on Earth. And the American people spoke loud and clear,” he said. “The establishment is shocked that Donald Trump won. But he won. He won fair and square.
“I don’t — this Mueller investigation, come on, let’s end it. Let’s decide. Come out and say what you got.
“There’s a notion here this guy should not be president of the United States. I beg your pardon. He won fair and square. He won 307 electoral votes. He is our president. Respect the office of the presidency.”
Ken Langone on the 2016 election: "There's a notion here [that @realDonaldTrump] should not be President of the United States. I beg your pardon? He won fair and square…Respect the office of the presidency." @TeamCavuto pic.twitter.com/hzOrW6iNGw
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 12, 2018
Earlier in the interview, asked about the new anti-Trump book from famed Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and the anti-Trump anonymous Op-Ed in The New York Times, Langone said, “Well, I’m suspicious that we are getting close to a midterm election.
“And I’m also intrigued by the number of people that he cites in the book that have come out vocally and passionately saying, I didn’t say that. Come on.”
Asked if he didn’t believe the book’s claims, Langone replied, “I have to not believe it to the extent that Gen. (John) Kelly (the White House chief of staff) or Gen. (James) Mattis (the secretary of defense), whoever it is, comes out and said, ‘I didn’t say that, I said nothing like that, I don’t know where he got that.’”
Ken Langone was never what one would call a fan of Obama, but he always tried to stay respectful of the office and Obama’s position when criticizing his policies and agenda.
Some may think that Langone went to far in suggesting the former president “keep your mouth shut,” but there are plenty of Americans who would wholeheartedly agree that Obama’s time in the spotlight is over and he should allow his successor to govern as he sees fit, which Obama’s predecessor was kind enough to do.