President Obama lectured the entire Republican party on Monday, criticizing the people running for president for their rhetoric and saying they’re trying to get attention from the media.
Referring to controversial comments made by Mike Huckabee about the Iran nuclear deal on Sirius/XM Patriot radio, Obama condemned them as “part of a general pattern” by Republicans “that would be considered ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.”
Obama also criticized Sen. Tom Cotton for calling Secretary of State John Kerry as Pontius Pilate and Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that he was endorsing Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism.
Obama noted disapprovingly that the issues facing America should be beyond rhetoric and “ad hominem” attacks of his foreign policy, reminding the media that “it doesn’t inform the American people.”
“Maybe it gets attention, and maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it’s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now,” Obama said, arguing that Americans were not looking for that kind of political leader.
Obama acted surprised at Trump for “challenging the heroism” of Sen. John McCain, but suggested that his comments were part of a political culture that was feeding an unhealthy media cycle – specifically mentioning the internet, talk radio, and some news outlets.
He pointedly hinted that he had been the victim of outrageous statements from Republicans, but their colleagues remained silent after it happened.
“I recognize when outrageous statements are made about me, a lot of the same people who were outraged when they read about Mr. McCain, were pretty quiet,” he said.
“The point is we’re creating a culture that’s not conducive to good policy or good politics, the American people deserve better, certainly presidential debates deserve better,” Obama said.
Obama noted seriously that he wanted the next president to be “serious” about the issues facing Americans both domestically and around the world.
“In 18 months I’m turning over the keys, I want to make sure that I’m turning over the keys to somebody who is serious about the serious problems that the country faces and the world faces,” he said, calling for both Republicans and Democrats to restore “seriousness,” “decorum,” and “honesty” to the political debate.