Obama speaks in Chicago, avoids criticism of Trump
Former US President Barack Obama reappears in public for the first time since Donald Trump’s grip to power. Trump’s predecessor took part in a Monday roundtable discussion with the young people at the University of Chicago, where he avoided any political commentary or criticism of the new president.
He started by jokingly asking, “What’s been going on while I’ve been gone?” The former US commander in chief vowed to help “knock down some of the barriers discouraging young people from a life of service,” further outlining challenges facing the nation, including climate change, criminal justice reform and economic inequality.
“All these problems are serious, they are daunting, but they are not insoluble,” he said. “What is preventing us from tackling them and making more progress really has to do with our politics and our civic life.” The Democratic politician further voiced optimism about the American youth in the wake of Trump’s presidency.
“There’s a reason why I am always optimistic, even when things look like they are sometimes not going the way I want,” Obama said. “And that’s because of young people like this.”
Obama also chose to remain silent towards Trump’s recent accusations of wiretapping his Manhattan tower in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.
According to The New York Times, Obama’s silence was “in part out of gratitude that former President George W. Bush took that same approach,” although the move would have been a “political mistake.”
“If Mr. Obama were to challenge the president directly… the former president would become a foil for Mr. Trump’s efforts to rally his supporters. That could end up helping Mr. Trump enact policies that Mr. Obama opposes.”
Culled from Presstv