Former President Barack Obama spoke out on Tuesday to take a clear dig at his successor Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Though he did not mention Trump by name, it was clear that Obama was taking a swipe at him when he tweeted about America’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama tweeted. “We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”

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Obama shared this alongside a story from the LA Times about the Trump administration rolling back fuel economy standards. This was the latest move by Trump to dismantle regulations that were put in place under Obama, who the current president has accused of enacting excessive rules that he says have thwarted economic growth, according to USA Today.

The specific rule that the Trump administration rolled back was meant to force automakers to produce more fuel-efficient vehicles in the hopes of decreasing pollution. The Hill reported that Trump’s White House has argued that their move will allow automakers to make cheaper cars.

“This rule reflects the Department’s No. 1 priority — safety — by making newer, safer, cleaner vehicles more accessible for Americans who are, on average, driving 12-year-old cars. By making newer, safer, and cleaner vehicles more accessible for American families, more lives will be saved and more jobs will be created,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a statement. 

Obama’s dig at Trump in response to this rollback came as a surprise to some given the fact that there is a longstanding tradition in this country in which former presidents do not publicly criticize their successors, which Obama himself has referred to as a “wise American tradition of ex-presidents gracefully exiting the political stage.”

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Despite this, Obama has criticized Trump on a few occasions since leaving office, albeit usually not mentioning him by name. Back in 2018, Obama famously called on young voters to “restore some semblance of sanity to our politics” in the midterm election.

It remains to be seen if Obama will be speaking out against Trump in the lead to the election in November.


This piece was written by Daniel M on March 31, 2020. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

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