Former President Barack Obama on Friday lamented the state of politics today, calling out his successor, Donald Trump, by name as he started his push to ramp up Democratic energy for midterms.
Mr. Obama made his return to the political arena by giving a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after receiving the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.
He praised America’s accomplishments but said there is a darker side to progress when politicians peddle resentment and mistrust to preserve the status quo.
“It did not start with Donald Trump. He is a symptom, not the cause,” Mr. Obamasaid. “He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”
Mr. Obama also took a jab at Mr. Trump’s emphasis on the economy, telling the audience “remember when that recovery started.”
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