Former President Barack Obama rebuked what he called “mealy-mouthed” lawmakers who say they’re disappointed by bad behavior and then do nothing about it.
Obama made those remarks while rallying voters in Wisconsin on Friday.
“We need leaders who will actually stand up for what’s right, regardless of party,” Obama said to cheers from the crowd.
The former president was speaking just two days after a bomb scare put the nation on edge.
The suspect, who law-enforcement officials arrested on Friday, is accused of mailing explosives to several top Democrats, including the Obamas, Bill and Hillary Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, as well as other lawmakers and former government officials who President Donald Trump frequently attacks online and in public.
Trump initially pointed to the media as the bomb scare gripped the nation on Wednesday, and claimed news outlets are the ones responsible for setting a “civil” tone, but it is no secret that Trump has banked his political fortunes on attacking the media.
The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught some flak on Thursday for echoing Trump’s lines, linking what she called “negative” media coverage of the Trump administration to the political acrimony of the moment.
“The president is certainly not responsible for sending suspicious packages to someone no more than Bernie Sanders was responsible for a supporter of his shooting up a baseball field practice,” Sanders said.
On Friday, Trump leaned further away from the blame, telling reporters, “There’s no blame. There’s no anything,” and then pointed to a Bernie Sanders supporter who opened fire on Republican lawmakers at a baseball practice in June 2017.
“If you look at what happened to Steve Scalise, that was from a supporter of a different party,” Trump said. “If you look at what happened on numerous of these incidents, they were supporters of others.”
Earlier on Friday, Trump made clear that he thinks this week’s bomb scares were intended to throw off Republican momentum ahead of the November 6 midterm election.