Former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Business coalition aims to provide jobs to Afghan refugees MORE blasted President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE’s response to protests over the death of George Floyd during his speech at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
Obama said at the virtual event that “in this democracy, the commander in chief does not use the men and women of our military — who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation — as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil."
He added that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisLive coverage: California voters to decide Newsom's fate Florida woman faces five years in prison for threatening to kill Harris Australia's COVID overreaction could come to US MORE (D-Calif.) “understand that political opponents aren’t ‘un-American’ just because they disagree with you; that a free press isn’t the 'enemy' but the way we hold officials accountable; that our ability to work together to solve big problems like a pandemic depends on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up.”
"They understand that in this democracy, the Commander in Chief does not use the men and women of our military who are willing to risk everything to protect our nation as political props to deploy against peaceful protesters on our own soil," Barack Obama said of Biden and Harris pic.twitter.com/POczszawMP— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) August 19, 2020
“None of this should be controversial. These shouldn’t be Republican principles or Democratic principles. They’re American principles. But at this moment, this president and those who enable him have shown they don’t believe in these things,” Obama said.
The address marks some of Obama’s most pointed, direct criticisms of his successor thus far, saying Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t” and “has no interest in putting in the work” of the presidency.
Trump has faced criticism after deploying federal officers to cities including Portland, Ore., to protect federal property amid protests that continued for weeks following the death of Floyd in late May.
The president also drew criticism after federal officers deployed smoke canisters and pepper balls on June 1 to clear protesters from Lafayette Square across from the White House before Trump walked in the area for a photo opportunity at a nearby church damaged amid the protests. The incident sparked weeks of criticism against a forceful response to mostly peaceful protesters.