Obama: 'Divisive' rhetoric of campaign is corroding democracy
© Screengrab

President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPaltry wage gains, rising deficits two key tax reform concerns Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism Colorado state lawmakers advance measure to rename highway after Obama MORE on Monday night condemned the "divisive rhetoric" and the omission of facts on the campaign trail.

During the keynote address at the Toner Prize of Excellence in Political Reporting, Obama took several swipes at the GOP presidential candidates — without mentioning any names.

In the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels, GOP hopefuls Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz's Dem challenger slams Time piece praising Trump Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIG investigating Comey memos over classified information: report Overnight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Top Pruitt aid requested backdate to resignation letter: report MORE have called for monitoring Muslim neighborhoods and Trump, the GOP front-runner, has previously proposed banning Muslims from entering the country.

ADVERTISEMENT
“The divisive and often vulgar rhetoric that’s aimed at everybody but is often focused on the vulnerable or women or minorities,” Obama said. “I say this right now because this does corrode our democracy and society."

He continued, “When our elected officials and our political campaigns become entirely untethered to reason and facts and analysis, when it doesn’t matter what’s true and what’s not, that makes it all but impossible for us to make good decisions on behalf of future generations."

When meeting with leaders around the globe, Obama said he's most frequently asked about presidential politics and noted that people outside of the United States care about how the country functions.

“We are all invested in making this system work. We’re all responsible for it’s success, and it’s not just for the United States that this matters. It matters for the planet," Obama said.

The president also called on reporters covering presidential campaigns to look beyond what's "flashy" and focus on the stories and issues that "need attention."

"Because I believe that for all the sideshows of the political season, Americans are still hungry for the truth, it’s just hard to find, it’s hard to wade through," he said.