Former President Barack Obama tried to deliver a lecture to President Donald Trump this week.
He ended up on the receiving end of one instead.
“If you have to win a campaign by dividing people, you’re not going to be able to govern them,” Obama said Thursday at a campaign rally for Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam, according to TheBlaze. “You won’t be able to unite them later if that’s how you start.”
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That charge almost mimics one leveled at Obama by Trump during the 2016 campaign.
“Barack Obama has been a terrible president, but he’s been a tremendous divider,” Trump told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro last year. “He has divided this country from rich and poor, black and white — he has divided this country like no president in my opinion, almost ever.”
After Obama tried to blame Trump for America’s divide, reminders of Obama’s past were quick to come to the candidate who in 2008 said of white Rust Belt voters, “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”
Ben Shapiro led the charge of critics who held a mirror up to Obama.
Shapiro has long said Obama left the nation more divided than when he entered the White House.
“President Obama’s tribal politics have crippled America. Americans hoped that Obama — after campaigning on the notion that he would provide the capstone to America’s non-tribalism — would heal our wounds and move our country beyond racial politics. He, in his own persona, was to be a racial unifier,” Shapiro wrote last year in an article for National Review.
“Instead, Obama has rejected checks and balances as a matter of principle, and has used tribalism to grow his own power,” he added.
Shapiro noted in 2012 , when Obama was on his way to winning his second term, that he “has carved up the electorate into winnable chunks. And he’s appeasing those chunks of the electorate, one by one.”
“Obama now realizes that he can’t win by uniting Americans,” Shapiro wrote at the time. “He can only win by dividing us.”
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