Obama blasts 'vulgar and divisive rhetoric'

2016-03-15 22:22
President Barack Obama listens to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny speak during their meeting at the White House. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

President Barack Obama listens to Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny speak during their meeting at the White House. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - President Barack Obama said on Tuesday he was deeply disturbed by the "vulgar and divisive rhetoric" directed at women and minorities as well as the violence in the 2016 presidential campaign, a swipe at Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Without mentioning the candidate by name, Obama used a St Patrick's Day luncheon at the Capitol to express his concern with the political discourse and the protests that have escalated to attacks at Trump rallies. Trump has spoken of barring Muslims and deporting immigrants living in the US illegally.

Obama received a standing ovation at the conclusion of his remarks assailing the tenor of the campaign and pleading for civility.

"We have heard vulgar and divisive rhetoric aimed at women and minorities, and Americans that don't look like us or pray like us or vote like we do," Obama said. "We have seen misguided attempts to shut down that speech, however, offensive it may be.

"We live in a country where free speech is one of the most important rights that we hold. In response to those events we've seen actual violence, and we've heard silence from too many of our leaders," Obama said.

The president reminded the audience of Republicans and Democrats, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, that the world is watching the US candidates and what they say.

"In America there aren't laws that say we have to be nice to each other ... But there are norms, there are customs, there are values that our parents taught us and that we try to teach to our children," the president said.

Obama said that while some may bear more of the blame for the climate, everyone bears responsibility for reversing it.

Trump's political rivals and others blame him for sowing division, rather than unity, across the country. Trump says he's done no such thing and calls himself a "uniter".

"It is a cycle that is not an accurate reflection of America. It has to stop," Obama said. "And I say that not as a matter of political correctness, it's about the way that corrosive behaviour can undermine our democracy, and our society."

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.