Obama ‘heartened’ by protests, spokesman says
“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”
Obama’s decision to step back into the public light comes just 10 days after he left office. He joins the chorus of Democrats criticizing Trump for his decision to temporarily halt refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and stop all Syrian refugee resettlement in America.Trump has compared his actions to Obama’s 2011 moves to restrict entries from Iraq after two Iraqis were arrested in Kentucky on terrorism charges.
Lewis addressed that claim in the statement from Obama’s office.
“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” Lewis added.
Former presidents often give their replacements a wide berth in office, rarely weighing in to criticize their actions out of respect for the office.
While Obama served as a vocal critic to Trump on the campaign trail, he told reporters during a trip to Peru last November that he wanted to give Trump the chance to lead without Obama “popping off.”
But Obama added that he wouldn’t unilaterally remain quiet.
“As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal or battle, but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes,” Obama said.