Former presidents George W. and Barack were hitting now-President Donald Trump hard this week for his political rhetoric that “divides” the country.
Speaking to a group of fellow Democrats on behalf of gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, Obama was particularly harsh.
“If you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you’re not going to be able to govern them. You won’t be able to unite them later if that’s how you start,” Obama said.
Obama didn’t mention Trump by name, but it was clearly understood his comments were meant for the President and the Republican party.
He made the same comments earlier in the day campaigning for Phil Murphy, who is running for governor of New Jersey to succeed Chris Christie.
This all comes as a bit of irony, especially from a President who made it a point to divide people along class, party and racial lines every chance he got.
In fact, after eight years of Obama, American is more divided than we were before.
Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro and others noticed this.
Dude we were all there in 2012 https://t.co/k49nUI8IHF
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 20, 2017
Yeah, especially if you continue that pattern of intentionally dividing them during your two terms. Yeah, you’re so right. https://t.co/ScCeUJztvz
— David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) October 19, 2017
Reminder that the HHS mandate was intended to divide along religious lines for political gain, not to address any actual problem. https://t.co/7QD3V9x4xg
— Casey Mattox (@CaseyMattox_) October 20, 2017
Obama today said he "laments the politics of division."
What a joke. Obama is the most divisive President this country has ever had.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 19, 2017
Oh yes, inclusive, above-the-fray Obama. The eyeroll emoji doesn't quite suffice here. https://t.co/Pzgcg3Rocj
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) October 20, 2017
— Matt Batzel (@MattBatzel) October 21, 2017
In a speech, Obama said the current level of racial division in today's politics is pathetic. Yeah, no one could elevate it like he could.
— On A Ledge Somewhere (@LedgeSomewhere) October 19, 2017
President Obama gets to lecture to no one about the politics of division "these days."
— Tony Katz (@tonykatz) October 19, 2017
Says the president who literally sued a group of nuns to enforce Obamacare's contraceptive mandate. https://t.co/l9vTVe3cVf
— Andrew Mullins (@AndrewWMullins) October 20, 2017
“We need you to take this seriously. Our democracy is at stake,” Obama said, Politico reported. “Elections matter. Voting matters. You can’t take anything for granted. You can’t sit this one out. It’s up to you. And if you believe in that better vision not just of our politics, but of our common life, of our democracy, of who we are; if you want that reflected in our government, if you want our kids to see our government and feel good about it, and feel like they’re represented and if you want those values that you are teaching your children reinforced … then you’ve got to go out there.”
As former President George W. Bush did earlier Thursday in a surprisingly forward speech in New York, Obama kept to not mentioning Trump’s name, but left no question who he was talking about.
“Folks don’t feel good right now about what they see. Maybe they don’t feel as if our public life reflects our best,” Obama said. “Instead of our politics reflecting our values, we’ve got politics infecting our communities. Instead of looking for ways to work together and get things done in a practical way, we’ve got folks who are deliberately trying to make folks angry, to demonize people who have different ideas, to get the base all riled up because it provides a short-term tactical advantage.”
He returned to some of the Obama classics: kicking off with “Are you fired up? Are you ready to go?” and working his way through to “Don’t boo. Vote!” Then, to criticize ads by Northam’s opponent, Ed Gillespie, as misleading, he used a phrase that’s only a favorite to him, calling it “the okey doke.”
And the kicker: “The question now, at a time when our politics just seems so divided, and so angry, and so nasty, is whether we can recapture that spirit, whether we support and embrace somebody who wants to bring people together,” Obama said. “Yes, we can.”
The “Yes, We Can” chants followed, as he must have known they would.
H/T: The Blaze