Shortly before George W. Bush left the White House for the last time in January 2009 to return to his ranch in Texas, he vowed that he would stay out of politics, deeming it inconsiderate and inappropriate to pop off while his successor is struggling.
But former President Barack Obama made no such pledge, and he’s routinely jumped in with partisan attacks on his own successor.
Now, he’s done so again.
“This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because — what we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party,” Obama said in a private talk with his former members of his administration, a tape of which was obtained by Yahoo News.
“What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends of being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life. And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well. It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty. It would have been bad even with the best of governments.
“It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’—when that mindset is operationalized in our government,” Obama said. “That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden.”
Obama’s comments were a stark contrast from what Bush recently did when he re-emerged. The 43rd president posted a video on his presidential library’s website in which he called for Americans to ignore partisanship to better protect the most vulnerable to the coronavirus and to assist those who have lost their jobs.
“Let us remember how small our differences are in the face of this shared threat,” Bush said. “In the final analysis we are not partisan combatants, we are human beings equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise.”
Obama also blasted Trump after Attorney General William P. Barr dropped the criminal case against Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said in a web talk with members of the Obama Alumni Association.
“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for somebody who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
Obama must’ve forgotten former President Bill Clinton, who was impeached by the House for committing perjury and then got off scot-free when the Senate, controlled by Democrats, decided not to remove him from office.
But Yahoo News pointed out a problem. “Obama misstated the charge to which Flynn had previously pleaded guilty. He was charged with false statements to the FBI, not perjury.”
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