Readers React: Trump has been bashing Obama for years. It’s about time Obama spoke up

Former President Obama Accepts The Paul H. Douglas Award For Ethics In Government At The University Of Illinois
President Obama speaks to University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign students on Friday.
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

To the editor: If Donald Trump can shatter all previous presidential norms, then Barack Obama is equally entitled to a break a few of his own by speaking out against his successor.

President Obama has been the very public object of President Trump’s scorn for more than two years now. The former president has been blamed for every perceived wrong in the world, and he and his policies have been under constant attack.

For Obama to break with the tradition of ex-presidents withholding public criticism of the current commander-in-chief and openly join the political fray before the midterm election comes as a relief to many of us. We live in politically dangerous times, so it seems certain that we can expect more breakdowns of norms and protocols.

After all, if our disrupter-in-chief can do his thing at will, we deserve a timely rebuttal from our very measured ex-president.


Bette Mason, Corona del Mar


To the editor: Obama asked what happened to the Republican Party.

Since Obama was first elected president in 2008, the GOP has taken over the House, the Senate, the presidency, more than 1,000 state legislative seats and two-thirds of the state governorships.


Our former president might want to ask what happened to the Democratic Party. He should look at the Democrats’ far-left turn, to the point that, according to a Gallup poll in August, they now prefer socialism to capitalism.

Could that have anything to do with the electoral consequences of the last 10 years?

Robert Chapman, Downey


To the editor: Trump said Obama’s speech in Illinois on Friday made him fall asleep.

Of course it did. Obama started his speech with a little history of our country. Trump cannot appreciate that kind of an intellectual approach to anything. Unless someone immediately says something nice about him, Trump leaves the room, at least mentally.

Obama’s speech was thoughtful and about the country and our history. Trump, who spoke later in the same day as Obama, made remarks that were almost exclusively about himself, about his siege mentality, and about his persecution complex.

Gary M. Barnbaum, Calabasas



To the editor: In June 2016, Obama told a PBS town hall audience that some manufacturing jobs were never coming back and candidate Trump would need a “magic wand” to keep his promise.

Now, Obama is taking credit for Trump’s accomplishments. I guess that makes Trump the wizard and Obama the guy behind the curtain.

John Tintle, Nipomo, Calif.

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