Donald Trump’s Vulgarity Damaging US Reputation Abroad – Obama
US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that “vulgar and divisive” language was damaging America’s reputation abroad and leading to violence at GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s rallies, the Business Insider has reported.
“I’m not the only one in this room who’s more than a little dismayed about what’s been happening on the campaign trail recently,” Obama said to a group of lawmakers at a Capitol Hill luncheon.
In a thinly veiled shot at Trump, Obama said offensive rhetoric had been aimed at women, minorities, and Americans who “don’t look like us or pray like us or vote like we do.”
Obama added, however, that protesters had engaged in “misguided attempts” to shut down that speech, adding that we “live in a country where free speech is one of the most important rights that we hold.”
“In response to those attempts we’ve seen actual violence and we’ve heard silence from too many of our leaders,” he said, before praising House Speaker Paul Ryan for decrying the divisive rhetoric. “Too often, we’ve accepted this as somehow the new normal. And it’s worth asking ourselves what each of us has done to contribute to this vicious atmosphere in our politics.”
“I suspect that all of us can recall some intemperate words that we regret,” he continued. “Certainly, I can. And while some may be more to blame than others for the current climate, all of us are responsible for reversing it. For it is a cycle that is not an accurate representation of America, and it has to stop.”
He made the statement not to be politically correct, he said, but to shed light on how “corrosive behavior” undermined “our democracy and our society and even our economy.”
“This is also about the American brand,” he said. “Who are we? How are we perceived around the world? The world pays attention to what we say and what we do.”
Obama’s statements come after a week full of increased tensions along the campaign trail.
On Wednesday, an apparent Trump supporter appeared to sucker punch a protester who was being removed by law enforcement from North Carolina rally. Then, on Friday, Trump canceled a rally in Chicago after repeated clashes between protesters and supporters occurred before the event was scheduled to start.
Trump, for his part, has rejected the characterization that “violence” has become prevalent at his rallies.
“First of all let’s not even use the word violence,” Trump told CNN on Monday. “There’s very little disruption, generally speaking. It’s a function of the press — the press likes to say what the press likes to say. But there’s no violence. Nobody’s been hurt.”
Critics, however, have accused Trump of allowing a hostile atmosphere through some of his more colorful rhetoric. He has previously said, for instance, that he’d like to “punch” a protester in the face. He also seemed to consider paying the legal fees of the North Carolina man accused of punching the protester on Wednesday, a statement he later walked back.
“No, I don’t like that,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer when asked about the North Carolina incident. “And we don’t condone that, Wolf. And I’ve said that numerous times.”
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