We were all wondering how long Barack Obama could hold off before breaking tradition and speaking out against his presidential successor, Donald Trump. Well, if you had “before the end of January” in the office pool, congratulations. You can collect your money now.
Yes, it turns out that the former president couldn’t even go two weeks without throwing rhetorical shade on Donald Trump. And when he did it, he did it in the most hypocritical of ways.
According to Politico, Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis issued a statement Monday saying that the former president was pleased about the demonstrations going on at airports and in communities across the country against President Trump’s temporary restrictions on immigration and travel from seven countries with histories of terrorism.
Lewis said Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.” That “level of engagement” includes a Trump supporter cold-cocked by a liberal protester at the airport in Portland, Oregon; the Trump supporter lay unconscious while other protesters shouted over his body.
Heartening, indeed. Lewis continued to dig the president’s hole, saying, “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
Lewis apparently forgot that his current boss had done the exact same thing Trump did. In 2013, ABC News reported that Obama’s State Department had suspended Iraqi refugee entry for six months in 2011 after several al-Qaida operatives were found to have entered the United States under a refugee program.
At that time, America’s airports remained curiously unclogged of protesters, and there was no talk of a “Muslim ban.” This was probably because, then as now, the president’s broad powers on immigration made it entirely legal.
In November of 2016, Barack Obama said that when it came to speaking out against his successor, “I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance.”
George W. Bush gave Obama eight years. Obama couldn’t even give his successor two weeks — and all over a broken program he refused to fix on numerous occasions.
My guess is that this won’t be the last time we see the former president “popping off,” either. In fact, why don’t we just pencil him in for another one next week?
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