In a pointed speech Friday, former President Barack Obama mentioned President Trump for the first time by name since leaving office.
Perhaps most forcefully, Obama not-so-subtly criticized Trump for failing to denounce white supremacists and racists. Obama recalled Trump's response to the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year, when Trump said there was blame on "both sides."
"We're supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we're sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers," said Obama. "How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?"
The former president urged Americans to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, saying, "When you vote, you've got the power to make sure white nationalists don't feel emboldened to march with their hoods off, or their hoods on, in Charlottesville in the middle of the day."
He additionally called on Republican lawmakers to stand up to Trump more clearly in such situations. He said that relying on an opaque definition of "civility" would ultimately lead to mere "vague statements of disappointment" when Trump "does something outrageous," rather than action. "That's not civility. That's abdicating your responsibilities," he said. Watch the moment below, via NBC News. Summer Meza
Former President Obama:
“How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?" pic.twitter.com/DOJnJS9zCV
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 7, 2018