Obama: 'You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect'

Former President Obama praised the late Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsCongressional investigation finds Coast Guard leadership fell short on handling bullying Trump request for Ukrainian 'favor' tops notable quote list Impeachment can't wait MORE (D-Md.) as a "kind" and "honorable" man who treated others well despite his position of power culminating as chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. 

Obama was among several top Democrats to eulogize Cummings, who died Oct. 17 at the age of 68, at a funeral service in Baltimore.

"He was never complacent, for he knew that without clarity of purpose and a steadfast faith and a dogged determination demanded by our liberty, the promise of this nation could wither. Complacency, he knew, was not only corrosive for our collective lives, but for our individual lives," Obama said to applause.
 
"There's nothing weak about kindness and compassion. There's nothing weak about looking out for others. There's nothing weak about being honorable. You're not a sucker to have integrity and to treat others with respect," Obama said. Some observers saw Obama's comments as an implicit criticism of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE

 



Obama, standing in front of enlarged pictures of the late lawmaker, noted that Cummings was listed as "the honorable Elijah E. Cummings."

"You know, this is a title that we confer on all kinds of people who get elected to public office. We're supposed to introduce them as 'honorable.' But Elijah Cummings was honorable before he was elected to office," Obama said.

Before Obama spoke, other Democrats including Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Sherrod Brown backs new North American trade deal: 'This will be the first trade agreement I've ever voted for' Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Turf war derails push on surprise medical bills | Bill would tax e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaign | .5M ad blitz backs vulnerable Dems on drug prices MORE (D-Calif.), former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMore than 200,000 Wisconsin voters will be removed from the rolls Trump is threatening to boycott the debates — here's how to make sure he shows up Trey Gowdy returns to Fox News as contributor MORE and former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWhether a rule is cruel or kind, regulatory analysis shines a light Moderate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? Judiciary members battle over whether GOP treated fairly in impeachment hearings MORE also offered eulogies.

Cummings's wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, at one point directed her remarks to Obama, telling him that her husband was "so proud."

"To stand with you and for you early, to be your co-chair here in the state of Maryland, to serve as your chief defense attorney on the House Oversight Committee, and to make sure you and your administration were all right," Rockeymoore Cummings said as Obama smiled.

"But you didn't have any challenges like we got going on now," Rockeymoore Cummings added.

The funeral service comes after Cummings laid in state at the Capitol on Thursday. He is the first African American lawmaker to receive the rare honor. 

Pelosi on Friday called Cummings a "master of the House" who was also "the mentor of the House," while Hillary Clinton compared Cummings to his biblical namesake, the prophet Elijah.

"It is no coincidence, is it, that Elijah Cummings shared a name with an Old Testament prophet, whose name meant in Hebrew 'the Lord is my God.' And who used the power and the wisdom that God gave him to uphold the moral law that all people are subject to," Clinton said.
 
"Like that Old Testament prophet, he stood against corrupt leadership of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel," Clinton said, drawing applause and laughter from the largely left-leaning crowd.