Obama calls presidential campaign ‘vulgar and divisive’

Photo credit: A.R. Shaw with Steed Media Service
Photo credit: A.R. Shaw with Steed Media Service

While speaking at the annual Friends of Ireland St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on Capitol Hill, President Barack Obama referenced the current presidential race, calling the recent rhetoric and actions “vulgar and divisive.”

“The longer that we allow the political rhetoric of late to continue and the longer that we tacitly accept it, we create a permission structure that allows the animosity in one corner of our politics to infect our broader society,” the president said, according to ABC News. “And animosity breeds animosity.”


It’s likely that Obama was hinting at the campaign tactics of Republican front runner Donald Trump. The real estate tycoon as been criticized for insensitive remarks he’s directed toward Muslims, Mexicans, and women.

“We have heard vulgar and divisive rhetoric aimed at women and minorities, and Americans that don’t look like us or pray like us or vote like we do,” Obama continued.


Trump has not only been called a racist for his comments, but he has also been condemned for the passive way he’s handled his supporters attacking protesters at rallies. Obama called the treatment of protesters “misguided.”

“We live in a country where free speech is one of the most important rights that we hold. In response to those events we’ve seen actual violence, and we’ve heard silence from too many of our leaders.

“It is a cycle that is not an accurate reflection of America. It has to stop,” Obama added. “And I say that not as a matter of political correctness, it’s about the way that corrosive behavior can undermine our democracy and our society and even our economy.”

Obama concluded by stating that candidates’ supporters should not be afraid to take their children to rallies and debates.

“In America there aren’t laws that say we have to be nice to each other,” he said. “But there are norms, there are customs, there are values that our parents taught us and that we try to teach to our children.”

The president received a standing ovation after his speech.

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