Members of Congress quickly gave President Obama a standing ovation after he denounced bigotry in the United States, specifically citing freedom of religion–an obvious challenge to presidential candidate Donald Trump after he proposed a conditional ban on Muslims entering the United States.
During his speech, he called for all Americans to fight discrimination and cynicism “no matter what ugliness may bubble up” in society today.
“Remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like – or what faith they practice,” he said as members cheered and applauded before rising to their feet.
Obama was clearly lecturing Americans for flashes of anti-Muslim sentiment – particularly in response to his program to bring Syrian refugees into the country and the importance of the issue in presidential politics.
While many of the lawmakers in attendance stood and cheered, Congressional leaders appeared more subdued, although they were spotted applauding Obama’s comment.
Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid did not stand, and Speaker Paul Ryan shifted in his chair.